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Making the ordinary, extraordinary: the soul-inspiring works of Winslow Homer.

Text adapted from the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie's exhibit, "Winslow Homer: The Nature and Rhythm of Life"

Winslow Homer (1836-1910) is considered one of America's greatest watercolorists, and over the years his art has graced several covers and numerous pages of the Conservationist. A new Homer exhibit--"Winslow Homer: The Nature and Rhythm of Life"--currently on display at the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie, presents another opportunity for us to showcase this great American artist.

Winslow Homer wasn't always known as a painter. In fact, by 1863, the self-taught artist had established himself as a black-and-white illustrator. When Homer began showing his oil paintings, he became a "real" artist to other painters. At first, he depicted Civil War subjects, but then moved on to portraying ordinary, often rural, American life. The change cost him the support of many critics. Still, he demonstrated an independence of thought and uniqueness of work that distinguished him from his fellow American artists.

Businessman Bartlett Arkell began collecting art in the 1920s, but it was the art of Winslow Homer that ultimately captured his attention. Arkell was enthusiastic about sharing his appreciation of art with others, so he built the Canajoharie Art Gallery and Library (the Arkell Museum). Arkell was deeply moved by Homer's paintings, once writing specifically of On the Beach: "This picture of Winslow Homer's has done more to exalt my spirit and put me in another world than all the other pictures that I have put together. I call it soul-inspiring...." To this day, Homer's work continues to inspire.

Homer in the NYS Conservationist

Winslow Homer's work is featured in several past issues of Conservationist, including:

* the August 1948 article, "Winslow Homer Artist: A Great Painter Who left an Aspiring Record of the Adirondacks He Knew and Loved";

* the August 1955 article, "Deer Hunting-Then and Now": and

* the April 1972 article, "Winslow Homer, painter of fishes and fishermen."

The Arkell Museum at Canajoharie

The exhibit, "Winslow Homer: The Nature and Rhythm of Life," is a culmination of a close working relationship between the Fenimore Art Museum and the Arkell Museum. It runs until January 4, 2015, and includes 20 works that Bartlett Arkell gave to the museum, as well as four from his personal collection. Visit for more information, including directions and admission details. Visit www. for more information about the Fenimore Art Museum.

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Title Annotation:'Winslow Homer: The Nature and Rhythm of Life' exhibit
Publication:New York State Conservationist
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Dec 1, 2014
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