Upcoming Exhibitions

Strut: The Peacock and Beauty in Art
October 11, 2014 - January 18, 2015


 
 
      Strut: The Peacock and Beauty in Art explores our fascination with this most glamorous of birds, a symbol of vainglory and the darling of designers and painters.
       Strutting in its sapphire-blue and emerald-green feathers, the peacock symbolizes all things vain and beautiful in centuries of painting, sculpture, in books and myth, and on clothes that swirl and shine like the iridescent bird itself. Intrigued by the exotic art of Asia that prized and portrayed the peacock, Western artists and craftsmen chose the peacock as a multi-faceted motif for designs on canvas and for objets d’art in the home.
       The Hudson River Museum presents Strut: The Peacock and Beauty in Art from October 11, 2014 through January 18, 2015. Organized by the Museum, it is the first scholarly survey of the peacock in art.
       Paintings and decorative objects for the home present concepts of beauty symbolized by the luxurious bird and its famous fan of feathers from the 19th-century’s Gilded Age and 1920s Art Nouveau and Art Deco until Modernism’s ethos of “less is more, ” caused a brief decline in the peacock’s popularity. As the contemporary art world re-embraces beauty in a new “Gilded Age”, the peacock struts its way back into the art world.
       Among the highlights of The Peacock in Beauty and Art are images of women bedecked in peacock feathers, such as Robert Henri’s full-length portrait of Ruth St. Denis in the Peacock Dance, 1913, William Baxter Palmer Closson’s Feeding the Peacocks, 1910 and Aubrey Beardsley’s The Peacock Skirt, created for Oscar Wilde’s Salome. The bird itself receives its own glamorous portraits in paintings like Louis Rhead’s Peacocks, 1897, Jesse Arms, Botkes’ Black Peacock, c. 1930, and sculptures like Anna Hyatt Huntington’s Peacock’s Fighting, 1914. Peacock feathers are extracted into beguiling geometric patterns in the lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany and gilded Crown Derby porcelains. The peacock also appears to whimsical effect in parade costumes, pictures of Elvis, strutting peacock-style, and images of silent-era Hollywood starlets ready for their close-ups. The peacock’s origins as a bird of the Indian jungles comes to the fore in Charles R. Knight’s (famed for his murals at the American Museum of Natural History) fearsome Bengal Tiger and Peacock, 1928. Contemporary artists show the peacock’s gift of line ─ Laura Ball, Barbara Takenaga, and Federico Uribe find inspiration in the bird’s striking feathers, brilliant coloration, and the sensuous s-curves of its body.  Two Westchester based artists highlighted in the show are Tricia Wright from Irvington and Dillon Lundeen Goldschlag from Tarrytown.
       The exhibition includes works from more than three dozen museums, galleries and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Yale Center for British Art.
       Bartholomew F. Bland, the Museum’s Director of Curatorial Affairs, and Laura L. Vookles, Chief Curator of Collections, are co-curators for the exhibition, which is accompanied by a fully illustrated 200-page catalogue co-published by the Museum and Fordham University Press and distributed nationally by Oxford University Press.

The exhibition and the accompanying catalog have been made possible by a generous grant from the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, Inc.

 
 

 

Envy: A Classic Tale
June 6 – September 26, 2015

 
 

       Adrien Broom creates the consuming experience of envy, as she draws from age-old myths and the lore of fairytales to bring a fearsome green world to bloom in her cinematographic photographs, molding a tightrope balance between reality and fantasy. Beware that Broom’s mass media strategies do not kindle the emotion of envy in you, the viewer.
       “It's going to be a weird head place to be in for a year,’ Broom says. “It's just thinking about envy all day long. Fairy tales are very dark, but very fascinating. I'm going to be living in those old, old texts for a while. The show will be really cool. I’m taking a ton of photographs and doing three rooms with full installation and I'm really looking forward to that.”
       A smoldering “green-eyed monster,” envy may be a subtle spur to success. It is definitely endemic in the celebrity-infused worlds of Hollywood, Washington, the art scene, in global cities such as New York, and in “keeping up with the Joneses” suburbia, such as Westchester, New York City’s status-hungry suburb. Envy can produce pleasure of sorts when we watch the downfall of others who dared to reach higher than we. Lest it sound all good, envy also implies not just resentment of others but dissatisfaction within oneself. In many ways envy is a “gateway” emotion, one that leads to other more overt behaviors, such as the violence of wrath.
       Adrien Broom lives and works in Brooklyn and is an artist with a penchant for the bizarre and beautiful. She took a degree in computer animation from Northeastern University and studied fine art in Florence and art history in London. Broom's photographs have been featured in numerous exhibitions in Connecticut and New York City, as well as in the American Dreamers exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence in 2012.

The exhibition is organized by the Hudson River Museum and curated by Bartholomew Bland, the Museum’s Director of Curatorial Affairs.