Page 1

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@1988 Georgia Museum of

Art, The University of

Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602. Design by Dianne Penny. Photography by Michael McKelvey. CovER: Herman Herzog, Fisherman on a Mountain Lake. Oil on canvas,28 x 40 in. (38.1 x 55.9 cm.).

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Fred D. Bentlev Sr.



The Mr. and Mrs. Fred D. Bentley Collection of American Art 2D December 3, 1988 -January 22,1989 Georgia Museum of Art The University of Georgia Athens, Georgia



have enjoyed the pleasure and privilege


learning about American art. In this period we have been able to form warm friendships with artists long deceased physically yet still vibrantly alive through their works of art. As we write this we are reminded of our introduction to John LaFarge, George Inness, Everett Shinn, Matthew Prior, and many others. We traveled to the South Seas with LaFarge and in our imagination walked the streets of New York with Shinn, wandered through Florida and South Georgia with Inness, and rode through New England watching Prior paint his untutored portraits. We have had the pleasure of having our friends, the artists, visit us in our home, our offices, and of making it possible for these artists to visit our living friends at our favorite museums and institutions. Traditional American art, once neglected, is now one of the forces in today's art world. When we started the highest price ever paid at auction for an American painting was $60,000. Recently, a Rembrandt Peale portrait sold for $4,000,000. When we began, there were only five books on American art available to us. Today there are over 5000 volumes. One can collect fine American art at virtually any economic level. Many quality paintings are available and are still the ideal ones to collect. Today we are also noticing an increase in interest and availability of original graphics. These are not to be confused with the popular reproductions of painting, which are a waste of energy and funds. Our advice is to study everything available. Visit every museum within your reach. Only then should you even think about making the kind of investment, not only of your funds, but of yourself in one painting or work of art of quality. Remember, a true collection is a living, breathing entity, ever maturing, ever progressing.

Remember also that you will be preserving life for posterity and that you can never truly possess a work of art. It belongs first to the artist and then to the world. It is a pleasure to share this very personal part of our lives. May you feel some of the deep sense of gratitude we have every day fol these creators of the American art experlence. Sara and Fred Bentley Si.



FRED AND sARA BENTLEv began collecting American art many years ago-before traditional American painting garnered the popular attention and scholarly examination that has occurred since the American bicentennial. A guiding factor in the Bentley's choice of traditional American painting as a focus for their collection is their love and appreciation for history. They also collect decorative arts and rare books, which along with the paintings are housed in a replica of an antebellum home that was built on a significant Civil War site near Marietta, Georgia. Most of the paintings in the Bentley collection represent the aesthetic tenets of the Hudson River School, America's first indigenous art movement. Its romantic realism, expressive of American patriotism and democratic-Christian ideals, dominated American art from shortly after the War of 1812 until the celebration of the country's centennial. For many years afterward, indeed into the early twentieth century, this artistic attitude underlay the provincial manifestations of American Art. British painting formed the broad basis for the Hudson River School, and the earliest work, painted in 1807, from the Bentley collection is Driuing Liaestock Across the Creek by the British-born painter Joshua Shaw. This work and Thomas Doughty's Farrnstead in the Valtey demonstrate the balanced composition, precise drawing, and controlled execution of the Hudson River School. This style soon symbolized American pastoral ideals of order and harmony. American landscape painting was a kind of documentation of the land that followed the tenets of portraiture. While many American painters preferred careers as history or landscape painters, portraiture dominated American art until the mid1800s and most artists earned their daily bread as portraitists. Beginning with the

somewhat itinerant style of Matthew Prior and leading to the more sophisticated and richly painted works ofJohn E Francis (better known as a painter of still lifes) and Robert Street, American portraiture established a tradition of directness and clarity. This tradition continued for nearly a century, as evidenced in the rather severe portrait of Mrs. Franklin Delano (whose husband was Franklin Delano Roosevelt's uncle) by Eastman Johnson, a portrait of a Scottish woman by Samuel Waldo, and E Luis Mora's 1908 portrait of the painter George Elmer Browne (whose landscape is included in this exhibition). Whenever it was feasible to do so most American painters traveled and studied in Europe. Albert Bierstadt, who was actually born in Germany, first returned to study in Dusseldorf in 1853 and traveled through Italy in 1856, when he probably made the oil sketch of the Roman Campagna. This small work is indicative of the way most landscape.painters worked in the field. They would take such sketches to the studio and (generally during the winter) would make the final, finished painting. It was an idealizing process based on traditional methods from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Soon after the Civil War American painters became more cosmopolitan and began to be attracted to French, rather than English, painting styles. The resultant stylistic movement, tonalism, eschews topographic accuracy for spiritual and emotional expression. Using looser brushwork, murkier forms, and harmonious tonal schemes artists such as George Inness and Bruce Crane created a landscape style in which atmospheric flux became the central subject. The majority of the paintings in the Bentley collection are in the tonalist style. Following in the footsteps of the tonalists'discovefy of French painting, American impressionists in the last nineteenth century introduced bright colors, more

sharply distinguished brush strokes, and a la prima execution to their landscape paintings. Anna Richards Brewster, Arthur C. Goodwin, and Robert Vonnoh exempli fy this next generation of painters. They strove to convey an immediacy to their scenes, suggesting a quality of actual experience without translation or manipulation by the idealizing artist working in his studio. In this exhibition the work of many of the artists reflects traditional and popular aesthetic values. These artists often rejected or were isolated from art's innovative mainstream and concentrated instead on a regionally centered and often parochial mode. These painters probably represent, therefore, a truer picture of the history of art for the broad public, as opposed to the search for the elusive cutting edge that characterizes most art history. In the spring of 1988 the Georgia Museum of Art established the Mr. and Mrs. Fred D. Bentley Sr. collection of American Art. Some of the works in A Tradi,tional View come from this generous gift; however, the majority of the paintings, lvatercolors, and drawings in this exhibition come from the works that remain in the Bentley's private collection-a collection that evolves daily. Fred and Sara Bentley are active collectors whose energy, knowledge, and enthusiasm exemplify the standards established by the founder of the museum, Alfred H. Holbrook, forty years ago. The museum is indeed fortunate to count them among its many friends and benefactors.

?., CAIALOGUE OF THE EXHIBITION Works with a cMoA accession number are gifts to the museum from Mr. and Mrs. Fred D. Bentley Sr. All

10. Soren-Emil Carlsen (1853-1932) Still

others are from the Bentleys' private collection. Dimensions are given in inches and centimeters (in parenthesis); height precedes width.



Henry (Harry) Chase (1853-1889) Beached Ships at Sunset Oil on canvas


x 50 I /4 (76.2 x t27 .6)

12. George Clough (1824-1901) C. Harry Allis (1876-1938)

Bridge Oil on

A Stop by the Way Oil on canvas




28 x 36 (71.1 x 91.4)

2. Albert Oil on 12


Oil on board

9 t/2 x tZ t/2 Qa.t x 3a3) cuoe 86.57

4. Albert Bierstacit (1830-1902) Rornan Campagna, from


15. Charles C. Curran (1861-1942) ca. 1858

Oil on paper

(34.3 x 48.3)

5. William Birney (1858-1909) Releasing the Mortgage 1904 canvas

20 x 26 (50.8 x 66)

6. Anna Richards Brewster (1870-1952) Market, Tunisia ca. 1926 12


14. Bruce Crane (1857-1937)

Charcoal on paper 14 x l0 (35.6 x 25.4)

Oil on


(31.1 x 89.2)

Figtre Study

Oil on

(38.r x 54.6)

Watercolor on paper mounted on board 9 x 2r (22.9 x 53.3)

3. Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975)

t3 t/2 x l9

2l t/2

Coast of


t/4 x 35 t/8


13. Samuel Coleman, Jr. (1832-1920)

F. Bellows (1829-1883)



x 17 t/2 (30.b x


7. John Bunyon Bristol (1826-1909) Nea,r Lake Catherine, Verrnont

Oil on canvas 24 t/2 x 44 t/2 (62.2 x I l3)

8. George Loring Brown (1814-1889) Auturnn on the Hud.son 186l Oil on canvas 33 t/2 x 53 (85.1 x 134.6)

cuoe 87.78




30 x 29 (76.2 x 73.7)

All artists are American.



Oil on

George Elmer Browne (1871-19a6) The Distant Shore

Oil on ianvas 25 x 36 (63.5 x 91.4)

Ori.ental Still



Oil on board

2r r/2 x 17 t/2

(54.6 x 44.4)

16. Thomas Doughty (1793-1856) Farmstead, in the Valley Oil on canvas 28 L/4 x 36 3/8 (71.8 x 92.a) 17. John E Francis (1808-1886) Green Pears on a Whitte Plate 1859 Oil on panel 8 x l0 3/4 (20.3 x 27.3) 18. John F. Francis (1808-1886) Portrai.t of a Gentleman 1843 Oil on canvas 30 x 25 (76.2 x 63.5) cMoA 87.71

19. Sanford R. Gifford (1823-1880) Iris in a Blue Vase 1880 Oil on canvas 22 3/4 x 16 r/2 (57.8 x 41.9)

20. Arthur. C. Goodwin (1864-1929) Boston Gardens Oil on canvas


x l6 (50.8 x a0.6)

21. Richard LaBarre Goodwin (l 840-19 I 2) Peaches

Oil on 25 9c)


x t7 (63.5 x a3.2)

William Hart (l 823-l 894) in the

Oil on

Mountains 1872


l3 x 16 r/2 (33 x 41.9)

23. Franklin de Haven (1856-1934) Auturnn Landscape

Oil on canvas 28 x 40 (71,1 x 101.6) 24. Herman Herzog (l 83 l-l 932) Fisherman on a Mountain Lake Oil on canvas rb x 22 (38.1 x 55.9) 25. Eugene Higgins (l 874-l 958) Prod.igal Son 1945 Oil on fabric t2 t/8 x tG t/8 (30.8 x 4l) cuoe 86.58


26. Arthur Hoeber (l 854-1



Salt Flats of New Jersey

Oil on fabric

2t r/2 x 32 t/8

(54.6 x 81.6)

GMoA 86.59

27. George Inness (l 825-l 894) Wood Interior, Montclair Oil on canvas mounted on masonite 25 t/4 x 30 (64 x 76.7) 28. Eastman Johnson (l 824-l 906)

Mrs. Franklin Delano Oil on canvas 49 t/2 x 33 (125.7 x 83.8)

29. Hugh Bolton Jones (1848-1927) The Pond

Oil on


2r r/2 x 3t t/2

(54.6 x 80)

30. John F. Kensett (1816-1872) Trees in a Landscape Oil on canvas

t2 t/2 x 9 (31.8 x22.9)

31. John LaFarge (l 835-l



Colossal Statue of Ananda, near the

Ruined Citl of Pollana.rus, Ceylon

Watercolor on paper

97/8x7 (25xt7.8)

32. John LaFarge (1835-1910)

At Datun in Front of Our House at Vacala, Upoln,

Samoa l89l

Watercolor on paper 7 x l0 (17.8 xZb.a)

33. William R. Leigh (1866-1955) Grand Canyon

Oil on



34. George P. Love (1887-1947)



Oil on


2l x

18 (533 x a5.7)

cMoA 87.98

35. Andrew Melrose (1836-1901) The Cumberland Mountains Oil on canvas

30 x 46 (76.2 cMoA 87.99



36. E Luis Mora (1874-1960) Portrai,t of George Elrner

Oil on




391/2 x 32 (100.3 x 81.3) cMoA 87.102 37. Jerome Myers (1867-1941) Self Portrait

Pastel on paper 14 x l0 t/2 (35.6 cuor 87.77

x 26.7)

38. William Matthew Prior (1806-1873) James Woodmon



Oil on panel 24 x


(61 x 53.3)

39. Edward W. Redfield (1869-1965) Forest i,n Fontainebleau, France

Oil on 32


r/2 x 26 (82.6 x 66)

40. Paul Saling (1876-1936) Autumn in the Valley Oil on canvas 38 x 46 (96.5 x 116.8) 41. Walter E. Scofield (1867-1944) Ntu England Landscape Oil on canvas 16 x 20 (a0.6 x 50.8)

42. Aaron Draper Shattuck (1832-1928) Grazing Sheep

Oil on

6 3/4



Pencil and chalk on paper 4t t/2 x 31 t/2 (105.4 x 80) cuoa 87.75


x tt t /8

53. Julian Alden Weir (1852-1919) Study for Mural for Chicago World's

(t7 .2 x 28.3)

43. Aaron Draper Shattuck (1832-1928) 54. Thomas Worthington Whittredge (l 820-1


Oil on 9


/8 x l2 (25 x 30.5)


Oil on 7

44. Joshua Shaw (1777-1860) Driving Liaestock Across the Oil on canvas 23 t/4 x 31 (59.1 x 78.7)



(17.8 x 28.3)

55. Thomas Worthington Whittredge The Old, Bridge

Oil on panel 9




(22.9 x 36.8)

56. John Whorf (1903-1959) Homage to Edward Hopper

Dichens Scene

Watercolor on paper 12 x 16 (30.5 x a0.6)

Watercolor on paper 14 x 20 (35.6 x 50.1)

46. Robert Street (l 796-l 865) Portrait of a Man 1850 Oil on canvas 30 x 25 (76.2 x 63.5)

cuoa 87.73 51, Gustave Wiegand

Oil on canvas 30 x 25 (76.2 x 635) 48. Thomas Sully (l 783-1872) Children at their Morning Deaotions 1845 canvas

3/4 (91.4 x


49. Charles Y. Turner (1850-1919) Woman Wri,ting Oil on canvas

301/8 x36 t/4 (76.5 x


50. Robert Vonnoh (l 858-1933)


Oil on 9


canvas mounted on board

12 (22.8

x 30.5)

51. Samuel Waldo (l 783-1861) Woman in a Scottish Shawl 1846 Oil on canvas


3/8 x 29 (92.4 x


52. William Aiken Walker (1832-1921) Cabin Scene

Oil on 6



12 (15.2

x 30.5)


870-l 957)

The House by the Shore

Oil on 47. Robert Sreet (l 796-1865) Portrait of a Lady 1850

36 x 27



x rr t/8

45. Everett Shinn (1876-1953)

Oil on


The Bee Hiaes


l8 x 3l $5.7 x?8.7)


820-1 9 I 0)

A Traditional View: The Mr. and Mrs. Fred D. Bentley Sr. Collection of American Art  

This brochure accompanied the exhibition of the same name, on view at the Georgia Museum of Art Dec. 3, 1988-Jan. 22, 1989, and features an...