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One Hundred Years of Harmony: Paintings by Gari Melchers

Jepson Center August 26-December 11, 2016

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Artist Gari Melchers played an invaluable role in shaping the collection of Telfair Museums. During his tenure as fine arts advisor from 1906 to 1916, Melchers facilitated the purchase of many of the best-known works in the permanent collection, including iconic canvases by artists such as George Bellows, Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, and many others. Yet Telfair did not acquire a single work by Melchers himself until after he stepped down from his official role in 1916. To commemorate that occasion, Telfair’s board arranged for the purchase of Melchers’s The Unpretentious Garden, a painting that is now one of the most beloved works in the museum’s collection.

Telfair will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the acquisition of The Unpretentious Garden with a focused exhibition presenting this treasured painting alongside seven additional canvases that demonstrate Melchers’s virtuosic ability to capture blissful, domestic scenes. A theme that appears regularly in his work, the artist’s focus on such scenes is likely the result of his happy marriage to Corinne Lawton Mackall in 1903. Corinne, a native of Savannah, is also responsible for Melchers’s link to Telfair. Her uncle, Alexander Rudolph Lawton, was president of Telfair’s board of trustees—a family connection that certainly aided the museum in securing the advice of the internationally renowned artist. Highlights of the exhibition include The Open Door, a masterful composition showcasing Melchers’s talent for rendering perspective, light, and color in an interior setting. The exhibition also features Woman Reading by a Window, which, like The Unpretentious Garden, was painted at Melchers’s home in Holland.

 

Related Programs

Jepson Center

 

Opening Lecture by Joanna Catron

Thursday, August 25, 6pm
Members free / non-members $5
Reserve your tickets  »

Join Joanna Catron, Curator of the Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont in Fredericksburg, Virginia, for a special lecture on the life and work of the celebrated artist and beloved Telfair advisor Gari Melchers. Sponsored by the Telfair Academy Guild.

 

Lecture by Courtney McNeil

Thursday, December 1, 6pm
Members free / non-members $5
Reserve your tickets  »

Take a deeper look at the art of Gari Melchers in a lecture by Courtney McNeil, Chief Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, titled “Artist and Advisor: Gari Melchers and Telfair Museums.”

 

Gari Melchers; The Unpretentious Garden; oil on canvas; Telfair Museums purchase, Button Gwinnett Autograph Fund, 1916.5.