Gari Melchers Home and Studio to Host Painting the Beautiful

Painting the Beautiful:  American Impressionist Paintings from the Michener Art Museum will open Saturday, September 1 at Gari Melchers Home and Studio and will remain on view through Sunday, October 21.  Painting the Beautiful is included in the regular admission price of $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $5 for students.

ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, is touring this exhibition, organized by the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa., which holds the world’s most extensive collection of Pennsylvania Impressionism.

“We are pleased to be able to host an exhibition of Painting the Beautiful’s quality,” said Gari Melchers Home and Studio Director David Berreth. “This is the first example of our new initiative to regularly feature high-caliber shows of noteworthy art that will enhance the cultural life of this growing region.”

In general, American Impressionist painters often spurned the cities, living and working in the numerous art colonies that sprang up across the country. Pennsylvania Impressionists were no different:  their colony was born in 1898 along the banks of the Delaware River north of Philadelphia, centered in the picturesque village of New Hope, in Bucks County.

The group played a dominant role in the American art world of the teens and twenties, won countless awards and sat on numerous prestigious exhibition juries. At the time, the works were celebrated for their freedom from European influence, and they were praised by the noted painter and critic Guy Pene du Bois as “our first truly national expression.”

Painting the Beautiful includes landscapes from 15 of these artists and represents some of their greatest canvases. Visitors will experience Daniel Garber’s luminous and poetic renditions of the Bucks County woods; Fern Coppedge’s colorful village scenes; John Folinsbee’s moody, expressionistic snowscapes; and William L. Lathrop’s evocative vistas.

A family day will be held Sunday, September 23, from 2 to 4 p.m.  Local artist and teacher Charlotte Burrill will be on hand to demonstrate her landscape painting skills, talk about her life as an artist, and answer questions in the Studio Pavilion. There will be hands-on art projects for the whole family as well as a family gallery guide, an outdoor scavenger hunt, face painting and Belmont docents available to answer questions and provide instruction.  Regular admission fees apply for “Painting the Beautiful” Family Day; reservations are not required.   For more information about this event, contact Education Coordinator Michelle Crow-Dolby at mdolby@umw.edu or (540) 654-1851.

Gari Melchers Home and Studio is a 26-acre estate and former residence of the artist Gari Melchers and his wife Corinne. The property, which is operated by the University of Mary Washington, is both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. Located at 224 Washington St. in Falmouth, Va., a quarter mile west of the intersection of U.S. 1 and U.S. 17, it is open daily with an admission charge. The museum website is www.GariMelchers.org.