Adirondack Museum Receives Special Exhibit Funds

The Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York has received an anonymous gift from “someone who loves the Adirondacks” in the amount of $50,000 in support of a very special exhibition that will open this summer. The new exhibit, A “Wild Unsettled Country”: Early Reflections of the Adirondacks will open on May 22, 2009. Paintings, maps, prints, and photographs will illustrate the untamed Adirondack wilderness discovered by the earliest cartographers, artists, and photographers.

The new exhibit will showcase more than forty paintings from the museum’s exceptional collection, including works by Thomas Cole, John Frederick Kensett, William Havell, and James David Smillie.

Engravings and lithographs of Adirondack landscape paintings will also be
featured. Prints brought these images to a wider audience and provided many
Americans with their first glimpse of the “howling wilds” that were the
Adirondack Mountains.

A “Wild Unsettled Country” will include photographs – stereo views and albumen prints – sold as tourist souvenirs and to armchair travelers. William James Stillman took the earliest photos in the exhibition in 1859. These rare images are the first photographic landscape studies taken in the Adirondacks.

A dozen significant maps from the collection of the Adirondack Museum’s research library will demonstrate the growth of knowledge about the region.

Acknowledging the generosity of the gift that has made A “Wild Unsettled Country”: Early Reflections of the Adirondacks possible, Chief Curator Laura S. Rice said that, “Through this exhibit, museum visitors will be able to discover, the Adirondacks through the eyes of late 18th and early 19th century artists as a place of great beauty.”

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