On View in Cornish: American Art at the Picture Gallery, 1948–2019
September 14–October 31, 2019
The Trustees of the Saint-Gaudens Memorial are pleased to announce a retrospective of the past sixty-one years of exhibitions at the picture gallery of the Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park. This year is the centennial of the incorporation of the Saint-Gaudens Memorial by the state of New Hampshire, and the memorial and park have organized this exhibition in honor of that occasion.
The picture gallery was adapted from a utilitarian building that Augustus Saint-Gaudens originally designed as a chicken shed. In the 1940s, the trustees of the memorial were forced to rebuild some of the structures on the site following a 1944 fire. They built an atrium and gallery to house the works of Saint-Gaudens. They also decided to honor the commitment of both Augusta and Augustus Saint-Gaudens to contemporary American art through an exhibition space for the display of works by other artists. Since that time, the picture gallery has typically housed three exhibitions each summer, organized through collaboration between the park and the memorial.
This retrospective surveys the exhibitions that have taken place in the memorial’s picture gallery since 1948, showing works by a range of artists from Maxfield Parrish, Marguerite Zorach, Paul Sample, and Paul Manship to Varujan Boghosian, Ben Frank Moss, Hugh Townley, and Shona Macdonald. The history of the memorial’s exhibitions provides an important overview of American twentieth-century and early twenty-first-century art. It traces the evolution of modernism, the development of abstraction, and the enduring attraction of northern New England for artists. “On View in Cornish” includes paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture from the collection of the park and from private lenders—in some cases, the very works shown in past picture gallery exhibitions. This fall’s exhibition documents the history of the institution and the breadth of artistic practice represented at the site.
“On View in Cornish” will be presented from September 14 to October 31, 2019, with an accompanying publication by the exhibition’s curator, Melissa Geisler Trafton.
There will be an exhibition reception on Saturday, September 28, 4:30–6:00 p.m., with a curator’s talk at 4:30 p.m. Admission is free all day on September 28 in conjunction with the Park’s annual Sculptural Visions event. The picture gallery is located at the Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, 139 Saint-Gaudens Road, Cornish, New Hampshire.
For further information, please visit sgnhs.org.