Destinations in Paintings: The Kasten Collection presents a visual tour of the lands and locations artists frequented and loved in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The 32 works on display are on loan from Alex & Barbara Kasten who assembled this collection of paintings by distinguished artists from England, France, Germany and Austria. Among many artists featured in the exhibition will be Frederick Richard Pickersgill, Ernst Bosch, Daniel Ridgway Knight and Léon Joubert.
Destinations in Paintings reflects the global change wrought by technology in the mid-19th century. As the availability of railroads made travel quick and affordable, painters began to shift from the large metropolitan cities to the countryside. Artists were suddenly able to travel to out of the way places, which before rail travel, were unreachable. This was a boon to the plein air artist, working on site, capturing the activities of the village and rural life, landscapes and the changing seasons. As Alex Kasten states, “When you successfully immerse yourself back to that moment in time, you then can truly appreciate what paintings like these, created by the artist’s interpretation, brush and palette, brought to the viewer.” The collection appreciates different moods and feelings. Landscapes were painted in different seasons and at different times of the day.
In complement to the Winter/Spring 2015 exhibit Where Will You Travel Next? Destinations in Paintings, the Everhart Museum partnered with Lackawanna Heritage Valley (LHV) to showcase regional artwork and photography highlighting hidden spots throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. The exhibit, NEPA Uncovered, features creations by regional artists of all ages, and the juried pieces will be on view at both the Everhart Museum and LHV headquarters at 213 South 7th Avenue in Scranton, PA.
Exclusive to the Everhart Museum is To Your Health!, a multi-disciplinary exhibit highlighting on the Museum’s botanical, decorative art and ethnographic collection together with historic artifacts from regional lenders focusing on alcohol production and consumption, as well as contemporary art that reflects how alcohol, drinks, drinking, access, and the cocktail reflect today’s popular culture and societal mindset. The cocktail, and other alcoholic drinks, have a rich history and great effect on today’s culture and media, as well as reflect social tension regarding alcoholism, binge drinking, and the historical ups-and-downs of the American relationship with alcohol, including but not limited to Temperance, Prohibition, the Depression, and bootlegging. Alcohol and spirits have been made and used by humans for millennia, for safe drinking fluid and medicine, for religious libation, community conviviality, and as a treacherous escape from the anxieties of life. This history is reflected in the world around us, from the plants used for these drinks, the material culture of drinking and service, and the impact of alcohol production and consumption through the social issues around the globe.
Ever contemplate a future where domestic bookcases, communal libraries, commercial bookstores, and hand-me-down schoolbooks will be things of the past and reading for most will become a digital experience? What will happen to all of the obsolete publications in print? For the artists in Unbound: Altered Books in Contemporary Art, found and mass-produced books are their expressive medium of choice. Viewing themselves as collaborators with their source material, they transform them into sculptures and installations of all sizes and shapes. Beyond exploiting physical and sensorial properties, the artists improvise with content, both text and image. In answer to the looming demise of the printed publication, the exhibition argues that in giving books new life as unique works of art, the artists are opening up fresh possibilities of meaning and relevance. Approaches range from folding, drilling, shredding, carving, stacking, ripping, sewing, pasting, burning, and sanding to collage and assemblage. In reshaping both subject and material, the artists repackage our personal attachment to the written text as a catalyst for memory and the imagination while rekindling our sensorial response to the book’s physicality. And as they draw attention to communal and personal associations of books and reading, they explore alternate ways to knowledge and history, the cycle of creation and decay, and the passage and compression of time. Unbound is exclusive to the Everhart Museum and is guest curated by Sarah Tanguy.
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