George Inness: Private Treasures
This was the first special exhibition to be held in the Montclair Art Museum’s George Inness Gallery, the only space in the world dedicated to the work of George Inness (1825–1894). Often called the “Father of American Landscape Painting,” Inness spent the last nine years of his life in Montclair, from 1885 onward, and the town of Montclair was frequently the subject of his art. This exhibition brought together ten works from mostly private collections in the Montclair area.
Inness was a visionary artist whose renderings of nature were profoundly personal and inspired by his belief in Swedenborgianism, a philosophy which embraced the connection between the spiritual and material worlds. Inness referred to this spiritual dimension as “the reality of the unseen.”
Inness’s considerable contribution to American art at the turn of the century greatly influenced 20th-century art movements, and brought recognition to American artists in their own right as peers of their European counterparts.