Artist: Frederic Edwin Church, American, 1826?1900
Stanley B. Resor, B.A. 1901, Fund
Although set in Maine, America's easternmost state, Church's view of Mt. Ktaadn offered nineteenth-century viewers a vision for the entire nation. It expresses the optimism of a youthful society which, despite rapid growth and industrialization, still pictures itself existing in harmony with nature. In this scene, Church joined the real and imaginary, creating a view of nature as well as of destiny. Beneath Mt. Ktaadn's recognizable outline, the artist depicted not only the actual wilderness landscape that attracted many contemporary adventurers, but also the settled countryside he confidently assumed would soon be developed. Under a glowing sky radiating divine blessing, he juxtaposed cattle, bridge, farmhouse, and water-powered factory, symbolizing the future harmony of nature, agriculture, and industry.
This object is on view at the gallery.
Alan Shestack, ed., Yale University Art Gallery Selections (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1983), 5859, ill.
Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 175, 24041, no. 136, ill.
Christie's New York, New York, Christie's Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculptures, sale cat. (November 30, 2011), 72, ill.
John Wilmerding, Maine Sublime: Frederic Edwin Church's Landscapes of Mount Desert and Mount Katahdin (Seattle: The Olana Partnership, 2012), 45, fig. 34.
Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery's complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.