The Montclair Art Museum has opened a show dedicated to 19th-century American landscape painter George Inness in a new gallery specifically dedicated to the artist. George Inness: Private Treasures, on view through April 1, 2012, consist of 10 works, nine from private collections as well as one from the Montclair Historical Society. The local lenders are from various towns in New York and New Jersey, including Montclair, Glen Ridge, Essex Fells, Verona, and Irvington. Additionally, George Inness Sketching Outside His Montclair Studio, a painting from the Museum’s collection by Inness’s son, George Inness, Jr., will be on display.
Inness, often called the “father of American landscape painting,” was inspired by his belief in Swedenborgianism, the teachings of the Swedish scientist-mystic Emanuel Swedenborg. According to Swedenborg, God speaks to humanity through nature, connecting the spiritual and material worlds. Inness referred to this spiritual dimension as “the reality of the unseen.” Inness’s considerable contribution to American art at the turn of the century greatly influenced 20th-century art movements, and brought recognition to American artists in their own right as peers of their European counterparts. Inness settled in Montclair in 1885 and the town of Montclair was frequently the subject of his art.
The Montclair Art Museum is open Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Children under 12 are free. Senior tickets are $10 and non-member adults are $12.