Reuniting the Collection

Curated by Allison McDonough

Summer 2021 Collections Intern

In June of 2021, ten works of art from the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection were returned to the MCMA after a twenty-year absence. As the world spent the past year in relative seclusion, these artworks have spent the past two decades off-site and out of public view for their long-term loan.

This exhibition was created to welcome these works back home and highlight an assortment of American artists whose subjects have embraced inspiration from around the world. These inspirations stem from the French countryside to more familiar locales such as the monumental Kennesaw Mountain and the opulent Fox Theatre. The next steps for these artworks include conservation and assessment for necessary restoration in order to be fully reintegrated into the Museum’s permanent collection.

Beswick, Fox Theatre

Paul Beswick (1945-2014)

The Fox Theatre, Atlanta,  Georgia

Circa 20th century

Color photograph

English-born photographer, Paul Beswick, grew up in the southern United States and graduated from Georgia Tech in 1970. Beswick made a name for himself both as an architect and an architectural photographer. He photographed national landmarks, state capitals, interiors, and gardens. In 1994 he received an AIA award for his photographic contributions to the AIA Guide to Architecture of Atlanta.

This photograph aims to capture the architectural grandeur of the Fox Theatre’s interior—which appeared in Connoisseur Magazine—from an unconventional and dramatic angle.

Donated by Dr. & Mrs. Noah D. Meadows [1991.011.002]

Samuel L. Gerry (1813-1891)

Madison Falls, New Hampshire

Circa 19th century

Oil on canvas

 Despite a lack of formal art training, Boston-born artist Samuel Gerry found himself to be the leader of the White Mountain School in the 1840s. His style was influenced by Hudson River School artists such as Thomas Cole and Asher Durand.

This painting reveals a waterfall nestled in a wooded area. The water rushes down over the rocky hill a short distance to the riverbed below. The stark white pigment of the water stands out from the dark background, enhancing the movement of the scene. Above the falls, a delicate red-feathered bird sits on a branch, unbothered by the water below.

Donated by Mr. & Mrs. Fred D. Bentley, Sr. [1991.009.006]

Martha J. Gramling (1912-1990)

Camellias

1950

Oil and watercolor on paper

Martha Gramling, a Marietta native, is best known for her local landscape scenes and paintings of southeast wildflowers. She studied under the portraitist Charles Naegle and at the Frank Wiggins Art School and High Museum School.

This mixed-media painting displays three camellias nestled amongst dark green leaves. The flowers are carefully delineated in close detail and are laid out, not as an artful arrangement, but to show the various parts of their structure: the upper, pale flower shows the side; the middle, darker pink flower presents viewers with its center; the lower, pale pink flower shows the interior of the petals. The design is very documentary, as opposed to aesthetic, with a focus on strong lines. 

Donated by Frances G. Welsh [1991.002.001]

Gramling, GA Landscape

Martha J. Gramling (1912-1990)

Georgia Landscape

1967

Oil on canvas

Martha Gramling, a Marietta native, is best known for her local landscape scenes and paintings of southeast wildflowers. She studied under the portraitist Charles Naegle, and at the Frank Wiggins Art School and High Museum School.

Georgia Landscape exhibits Gramling’s loose brushstrokes and use of vibrant colors exhibit her Impressionist style.

Donated by Dr. & Mrs. Noah D. Meadows [1997.008.003]

Martha J. Gramling (1912-1990)

Kennesaw Mountain, Marietta, Georgia

Circa 20th century

Oil on canvas

Martha Gramling, a Marietta native, is known for her local landscape scenes and paintings of southeast wildflowers. She studied under the portraitist Charles Naegle and at the Frank Wiggins Art School and High Museum School.

Kennesaw Mountain, Marietta, Georgia depicts a dirt road leading to a countryside that is familiar to many Cobb County visitors, Kennesaw Mountain. The road takes viewers from the wooded foreground to civilization at the base of the mountain.

Donated by Dr. & Mrs. Noah D. Meadows [1991.011.011]

George C. Lambdin (1830-1896)

Roses in Bloom

1877

Oil on canvas

George Lambdin, the son of portraitist James R. Lambdin, made a name for himself as a floral painter, a subject that dominated his oeuvre from 1850-1870. The artist traveled throughout Europe, and briefly lived in New York, but made his permanent residence in Philadelphia where he maintained a lush garden that served as the model and inspiration for many of his works.

Roses in Bloom is a classic example of Lambdin’s compositions which featured floral arrangements bursting forth out of dark backgrounds. In the foreground, three roses in shades of ivory, coral, and pale yellow, grow out from their rosebush–flanked by unopened bulbs—and open themselves up to viewers.

Donated by Dr. & Mrs. Noah D. Meadows [1995.002.003]

Levy, Winter

Alexander O. Levy (1881-1947)

Winter—Western New York

1930

Oil on panel

Alexander Levy was an American artist known for his works in Upstate New York. Born in Bonn, Germany, Levy’s family settled in Buffalo, New York (by way of Cincinnati, Ohio). He studied at the Cincinnati Art Academy and the New York School of Fine and Applied Art. His illustrations were published in The Saturday Evening Post, Saint Nicholas Magazine, and The Century. From 1913-1925, Levy served as Art Director for the Larkin Company.

Winter—Western New York is a classic winter scene. In the foreground, a figure stands in a two-horse open sleigh; thick blankets of snow cover a small house on the center-right of the scene, camouflaging the structure against the equally snow-covered hillside. The background features a thick tree line that disappears into the distance, highlighting the rolling landscape of upstate New York.

Donated by Dr. & Mrs. Noah D. Meadows [1997.002.001]

Thomas Moran (1937-1926)

Landscape (After George Inness)

1888

Mezzotint and acidline etching, brown ink on paper

Thomas Moran was an American landscape painter—part of the Hudson River School & Rocky Mountain School—popularized for his idealized depictions of the American West. He began his career as an engraving apprentice in Philadelphia, which soon lead to his artistic preference of watercolor and illustration. In the 1860s, Moran traveled abroad to study and emulate British and European Artists.

Moran’s realistic etching, Landscape, replicates a setting created by fellow American artist, George Inness (1825-1894). The weight of the etched lines and illumination from the setting sun create texture and depth in the two-dimensional space.

Donated by Dr. & Mrs. Noah D. Meadows [1994.002.006]

Path Near Douarnenez

Jules E. Pages (1867-1946)

Path Near Douarnenez

Circa late 19th to early 20th century

Oil on canvas

 

Jules Pages was an American landscape painter who divided his career between California and France. Pages began his career as an engraving apprentice in San Francisco. In 1888 he traveled abroad to study at the Academie Julian in Paris—eventually becoming an instructor and director of the Academie in 1902. During his time in America, he worked as an illustrator for two San Francisco newspapers. Pages achieved international recognition in 1910, and was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

 

Path Near Douarnenez is a model example of the artist’s style in respect to his European landscapes. The brushstrokes are applied in pure streaks of color that reflect the changing Autumn season. His technical duality is displayed by the heavy hand that crafted the textured design of the grass and trees, which juxtaposes the delicate strokes that created the serene, blue sky and feathery clouds.

 

Donated by Mr. Bob Lovett [1994.003.019]

Marguerite S. Pearson (1898-1978)

Roses

Circa mid 20th century

Oil on canvas board

 

Marguerite Pearson was an American painter popularized for her still lifes, landscapes, and portraiture. Born in Philadelphia, she studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, and privately under American artists at various Boston schools. Pearson also considered herself to be a student of the world, as she traveled extensively as a young woman; it was on one fateful European exploration that she contracted polio and was subsequently confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of her life.

 

Pearson persevered through her health obstacles and created hundreds of elegant paintings. Roses demonstrates her characteristic loose brushstrokes and understanding light and color. The design is dominated by a delicate floral arrangement, roses in shades of peach, salmon, and taupe—with pops of ivory and charcoal for depth–open towards the viewer.

 

Donated by Mr. & Mrs. Fred D. Bentley, Sr. [1992.004.001]