Thursday, August 30, 2012

More from Idaho

I'm always interested in what people consider important and interesting enough to collect and display.
This impulse resonates with much artwork that has to do with repetition and multiples, like that of Tara Donovan.  Anyway, this is from the Power County Historical Society/Museum in American Falls Idaho which tells the story of the town that had to be moved in 1925 to make way for a dam.  In the meantime, there were lots of farms, and lots of land to protect.  This collection of different types of barbed wire, carefully mounted and displayed, is a poignant reminder of that era and before.  According to the labels, the wire dates to the 1870's.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Stumbling on Art - Minerva Teichert

During my recent trip to Idaho, I visited several local museums.
These excursions give me an idea of what the community values.  Often these small museums have exhibits driven by personal collectors and without an overall curatorial vision. This leads a vivacity and surprise to what one can find.   Walking down a narrow stairwell at the Oregon/California Trail Center in Montpelier, Idaho I was surprised to see this large painting tucked away at the bottom of the stairs.  It didn’t seem to fit into the Railroad exhibit that was advertised, and could have been easily overlooked but those of us who have to pay attention to the stairs when we go down a flight (me!).
This bad photograph really doesn’t do justice to the feeling of movement and light, and subtle use of color that is captured by this painting by Minerva Teichert (1888 – 1976)The handling of the paint and the dynamic compact composition transcends her use of this often romanticised subject.

Teichert received some of her training in  Chicago with John Vanderpoel and  New York with Robert Henri, which explains her fluid, semi-impressionistic style.  She spent most of  the rest of her life in Wyoming, far from the changing world of modern art and painted many murals with Western and Religious themes.  For me it was a moment of pure joy to discover this unexpected gem by this dedicated painter.