Saturday, June 22, 2013

Eternal Summer: The Art of Edward Henry Potthast at the CIncinnati Art Museum

      Pottast grew up in Cincinnati, becoming a charter student at the McMicken School of Design (now the Art Academy of Cincinnati) at age twelve.  This exhibition covers some of his 
A Magazine Cover Illustration
early works when he worked as a commercial lithographer, magazine illustrator, and landscape and portrait painter.  
Sewing Girl

The influence from his many trips to Europe for instruction were obvious, especially in the subjects and tonal choices.  His defining moment came when he moved to NewYork City in 1885.  He began to partake in America's latest holiday craze—a day at the beach.  Setting up his easel, his seaside paintings immortalized a generation enjoying their newfound leisure time.

Entering the Exhibit
      Eternal Summer is delightfully curated.  From the time you come through the main entrance, the mixing of period swimwear from the museum's collection sets the mood for summer fun.  Following a constructed boardwalk the paintings and apparel unfold.  It's a simple premise, but wow did it add a playful edge that announced warm weather and an approachable exhibit.  

A Sailing Party
      As with all impressionist painters, Potthast used color to its fullest potential.  The vivid images on most of the canvases were like watching a Technicolor movie.  Most feel like
A Family Outing
a Kodak moment at the beach—frozen memories that remain interesting for us because of the artist's interplay with water and sand.  Some border on illustration rather than fine oil paintings, but nonetheless they have left a mark on the art world and this enjoyable show.

The exhibit continues through September 8, 2013.

I didn't see any cats at the beach.

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