The Bierstadt Brothers: Painting and Photography

October 21, 2022–September 10, 2023

Albert, Charles, and Edward Bierstadt’s distinctive perceptions of the American landscape had a significant impact on American art and the commercial image revolution.

We live in an image-driven culture. From magazines and billboards to our phones and virtual reality headsets, we are surrounded by pictures at any moment of the day. We document our experience with photos and, through the photos of others, have vicarious adventures. This love of images, and the rise of mechanical printing processes that made it possible, had its origins in the mid-nineteenth century. Albert, Charles, and Edward Bierstadt, three artistic brothers from a German immigrant family, had a significant impact on the commercial image revolution.

The Bierstadt name is most often associated with youngest brother Albert’s iconic paintings of the American West. Today, his art opens up conversations about Native land rights and colonization that reframe his audience’s nostalgia for “wilderness” and myths about the “frontier.” This exhibition showcases four paintings by Albert ranging from the Rocky Mountains to the South Pacific and photographs by Edward and Charles of the Hudson Valley, Niagara Falls, and Yosemite Valley. Together, this compelling display demonstrates the brothers’ distinctive perceptions of the American landscape and their lasting legacy on American art and popular culture.

 

The exhibition is made possible, in part, by Lorraine W. Shanley and David H. Snyder.

Albert Bierstadt’s Dawn at Donner Lake, California is generously lent by Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska, as part of the Art Bridges’ Collection Loan Partnership initiative.

Exhibitions are made possible by assistance provided by the County of Westchester.

Albert Bierstadt (American, born Germany, 1830–1902). Mount St. Helens, Columbia River, Oregon, ca. 1889. Oil on canvas. Collection of J. Jeffrey and Ann Marie Fox. Image: Courtesy of Questroyal Fine Art.