enough to wipe out coastal towns, crashing on golden shores. David Zonderman, a history professor at N.C. State University, discussed the paint- ings from the perspective of the industrial revolution. Familiar images reflecting wide- spread anxiety over the disappear- ance of nature appear in many of the works. The human characters in H udson River paintings often are tiny, but cannot be ignored, Zonderman said. "In these pictures we see tension berween modern industrial society and the beginning €Ifa vanishing wilderness." The opening of the Erie Canal altered the landscape and economy of upstate New York and opened Niagara Falls to legions of tourists. However, the amenities that allowed many of these painters to access the wilderness are absent from the paintings themselves. Before hearing the final speaker of the night, participants gathered in the Egyptian room of the museum to enjoy a catered meal. They then returned to the classroom for a presentation by Richard Hall, a phi-
losophy professor at Fayetteville State
University, who juxtaposed the art of the
Hudson River School with the words of
transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo
Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and
William Cullen Bryant.
of St. Thomas
011 on canvas. From Wadsworth Atheneum
Museum of Art, Hartford
Conn. Bequest of Elizabeth Hart Jarvis Colt.
The lectures portrayed a movement
fueled by the desire to catalog and mythol-
ogize the landscape of a young nation. Each
presentation included slides of paintings
included in the show and from other col-
lections. The next day; participants had the
opportunity to tour the exhibit.
Over an hour and a half, rwo groups of
participants split up and tagged along
behind the curators for a firsthand look at
the Hudson River exhibit and some
European paintings that influenced the
movement. The canvases comprising the
Hudson River collection varied widely in
size and quality; and they spanned
both generations of the movement.
Small portrayals of coastal and pas-
toral scenes hung alongside expansive
Bierstadt depictions of Yosemite.
Coffey paused at length in front of
St. Thomas, Jamaica,
one of the crown jewels of the
exhibit. The painting depicts a welter
of harsh wilderness with such detail
that individual plant species are iden-
The event was attended by 80 par-
ticipants, many of whom shared an
interest in art history and museums.
"I had heard of the Hudson River
School," said Katherine Harrison, a veteran
of more than 30 seminars. "But I had never
had a chance to study it. These painters
really came alive for me. The whole thing
was remarkable." •
Celebrate University Day
Help further Carolina's public service mission by
participating in a
service project during the
month of October.
To find out what your local Carolina Club has
planned, visit alumni.unc.edu and click on
"clubs." If your Club has not selected a project,
contact your local Club leader.
Carolina Clubs give back to the University every
day by keeping the Carolina connection alive all
over the country and world. During Tar Heel
Service Days, clubs will get together to give back
to their communities, too. Join them!
CAR0 LINA ALUMNIREVrEW
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