Yosemite Viewed: Landscape Paintings of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Painting of Bridalveil Fall
Thomas Moran (1837-1926), [Bridalveil Fall], 1924. Oil on canvas, signed lower left, 30 x 20 in. Gift of Ruth B. Moran. Catalog No. 57883

Yosemite Viewed: Landscape Paintings of the 19th and 20th Centuries" features paintings drawn from the Yosemite Museum collection, representing a variety of styles and approaches to the artistic interpretation of this grand landscape. It includes Thomas Ayres' 1855 drawing "Valley of the Yosemite," one of the earliest representations of the park. Works by Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran, two nineteenth century artists widely known for their paintings of Yosemite and other National parks, are joined by the work of lesser-known artists Constance Gordon-Cumming and Thomas Laycock. A winter landscape by William Keith, a friend of John Muir, is included in addition to canvases by Harvey Otis Young and Frederick Schafer-examples of the nineteenth century popularity of monumental paintings reflecting the grand scale of Yosemite. Thomas Hill's large oil of the Wawona Tunnel Tree--just returned from an exhibit at the Smithsonian--is also on view.

Painting of Yosemite Valley
Thomas Hill (1829-1908), Scene of Lower Yosemite Valley from Below Sentinel Dome. Oil on canvas, 20½ x 24½ in. Gift of Miss Hollis Patigian. Catalog No. 13565

Twentieth century watercolors by Gunnar Widforss and Chiura Obata are displayed, as is an impressionistic piece by Theodore Wores. Contemporary pieces by Yosemite Artists-in-Residence Jane Culp, Brad Faegre, Brian Keeper, Gregory Kondos, Thomas Paquette, and Richard Richards represent more recent artistic interpretations of the Yosemite landscape.

Cosmopolitan Register
From left to right: Cosmopolitan Register on exhibit, Interactive menu, Interactive display showing Thomas Hill’s signature.

In addition to paintings and drawings, the exhibit includes historic hotel registers signed by visiting artists. The Cosmopolitan Register is on display, as is an associated interactive kiosk which allows visitors to browse its contents. Thomas Moran's reflectoscope as well as Chris Jorgensen's palette and leather satchel are part of the exhibit.

"Yosemite Viewed: Landscape Paintings of the 19th and 20th Centuries" opens on June 1, 2015 and will close on November 1, 2015. The museum gallery is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm through September 30, then 10 am to noon and 1 pm to 4 pm October 1 hrough November 1.

Send us an email if you have any questions about the museum collection.

Last updated: July 3, 2022

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