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A rare gathering of stunning British landscape paintings by legendary artists opens at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

By Mindy Wilson, marketing and public relations manager, Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Faculty, staff and students can experience the work of legendary painters like John Constable, J. M. W. Turner and Claude Monet right here on campus, this fall at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts for free.

The British Passion for Landscape: Masterpieces from National Museum Wales,” a world-class exhibition of stunning paintings and photographs from the collections of Amgueddfa Cymru–National Museum Wales, opens Saturday, Aug. 29. The UMFA is one of four museums in the United States to host the show and the only one in the western U.S.

5_Turner_The Storm (web-res)

Joseph Mallord William Turner, The Storm, 1840–45. Oil on canvas, 12 3/4 x 21 1/8 in. National Museum Wales (NMW A 509). Courtesy American Federation of Arts.

“Not since the UMFA hosted “Monet to Picasso from the Cleveland Museum of Art” in 2008 have campus and statewide audiences had access to artists of such art historical significance right here at home,” says Gretchen Dietrich, UMFA’s executive director. This may be the first time ever that paintings by Turner—one of Britain’s greatest landscape artists—have been exhibited in the state.

The exhibition charts the rise of landscape art in Britain from the Industrial Revolution through the eras of romanticism, impressionism and modernism to the postmodern and post-industrial imagery of today.

“The show features many wonderful landscapes of pastoral beauty, but it also pays significant attention to industrial and urban scenes, works of art that created new definitions of the beautiful, the picturesque and the sublime,” says UMFA curator Luke Kelly. The two Monet works in the show, in fact, are London cityscapes painted by the famous Impressionist in the late 19th century.

Tim Barringer, co-curator of the exhibition and Yale University’s Paul Mellon professor of the History of Art, will give a free public lecture, “Nature and Industrialization in British and American Art,” at the UMFA on Thursday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m.

“The British Passion for Landscape” runs through Dec.13. U faculty, staff and students are admitted free to the UMFA.

The exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts and Amgueddfa Cymru–National Museum Wales. The exhibition tour and catalogue are generously supported by the JFM Foundation, Mrs. Donald M. Cox, and the Marc Fitch Fund. In-kind support is provided by Barbara and Richard S. Lane and Christie’s.


*Main image credit: Claude Monet, Charing Cross Bridge, 1902. Oil on canvas, 25 3/4 x 32 in. National Museum Wales (NMW A 2483). Courtesy American Federation of Arts.