Press Release - For Immediate Release
Shelbey Peterson | UMFA | firstname.lastname@example.org | 801.585.1306
Patrick Dunshee | Church History Museum | email@example.com | 801.240.0947
One Artist. Two Exhibitions. Over 200 Works.
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) and LDS Church History Museum are pleased to announce the largest joint exhibitions ever presented of work by beloved Utah artist LeConte Stewart (1891-1990). On view through January 15, 2012, the exhibitions collectively feature more than 200 paintings and works on paper, providing insight into the life and work of one of the state’s most accomplished artists.
Best known for realistic portrayals of Utah’s rural and urban landscapes, Stewart’s contributions to art of the West spanned 75 years and resulted in the creation of thousands of artworks. Wallace Stegner compared Stewart’s work to that of Edward Hopper, but he is most often compared to American Scene and Regionalist artists of the 1920s and 1930s.
Stewart took classes at the University of Utah before conducting his serious art study in New York and Pennsylvania. After returning to northern Utah he frequently took trips to central Utah to paint the small towns, farms, and deserts of his childhood. A committed educator, Stewart was an art instructor at Ogden High School before serving as chairman of the Art Department at the University of Utah from 1938 to 1956. Until his death in 1990, Stewart created artworks nearly every day along the roads or in the fields near his home.
LeConte Stewart: Depression Era Art was organized for the Utah Museum of Fine Arts by Donna Poulton, UMFA associate curator of art of Utah and the West. The exhibition features more than 130 paintings and works on paper from the 1930s. During this period Stewart turned to what he described as the “raw side of life,” depicting storefronts, gas stations, and old homes in his community through minimal forms and expressive color, evoking images of abandonment and isolation. The UMFA thanks title sponsors the S.J and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation and the Ray, Quinney & Nebeker Foundation.
The Church History Museum presents LeConte Stewart: The Soul of Rural Utah, an exhibition developed by museum curator Robert Davis, featuring approximately 120 landscape paintings and works on paper. Using rich tones, thick impasto, and impressionistic brushstrokes, Stewart painted throughout his career farmhouses, barns, and other familiar scenes that convey the heritage of Mormon settlement. For Stewart, true art was usually not found in perfect natural compositions or the most paintable subjects, but rather in humble and visually unpretentious scenes—made beautiful by the soul of an artist who loved them and expressed them with integrity and sensitivity.
“In partnership with our colleagues at the Church History Museum, the UMFA is proud to present the stunning work of LeConte Stewart with the aim of cementing Stewart's legacy in the art of our state and the region,” says Gretchen Dietrich, UMFA executive director.
“We are thrilled to be opening this exhibition in conjunction with the UMFA,” says director of the Church History Museum, Kurt Graham. “It is appropriate for our two institutions to collaborate in honoring one of Utah’s premier artists.”
By experiencing both exhibitions, museum visitors will be offered a comprehensive look at the art of LeConte Stewart, and will explore his landscapes in differing and complementary ways. Visitors are encouraged to travel on the UTA TRAX Line, conveniently located near both venues. For information on TRAX schedules, please visit www.rideuta.com.
Visit www.umfa.utah.edu or www.lds.org/museum for exhibition and program details.
Church History Museum
At the Church History Museum, exhibitions and educational programs tell the story of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The museum preserves and displays Mormon art and artifacts from all over the world. Permanent exhibitions, changing exhibitions on special themes, and programs for children and adults offer educational experiences for the whole family. Located next to the main lobby, the museum store is the perfect place to find postcards, posters, prints, note cards and gifts. Museum highlights include: a full size historic log home; look into a covered wagon or size up a pioneer handcart; a historic timeline of the Church through the Covenant Restored exhibition (self-guided or docent led tour); an interactive children’s exhibition on the Book of Mormon; death masks of church founder Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith; and a full size statue of the Angel Moroni, a copy of which stands on the pinnacle of every LDS temple. Admission to the Church History Museum is free. Open 7 days a week except holidays. Hours are Monday-Friday: 9 am-9 pm; Saturday and Sunday: 10 am-7 pm. Nearby public parking lots are available. More information is available at (801) 240-3310 or online at www.ChurchHistoryMuseum.org.
Utah Museum of Fine Arts
As Utah’s official state art museum, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts is the primary cultural resource for global visual arts in the region. The UMFA has long served as a bridge from campus to the broader community, working to engage visitors in making meaningful connections with the world of art. The UMFA’s permanent collection spans more than 5,000 years of human creativity and features over 18,000 works. Special exhibitions make each visit a new experience, and a variety of public programs are scheduled year-round to encourage dialogue and discovery. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a light lunch of sandwiches, salads, coffee, and pastries in The Museum Café and are welcome to browse eclectic and artistic keepsakes in The Museum Store. The UMFA is located in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building at 410 Campus Center Drive; parking is available in lots just east of the museum. General admission is $7 for adults, $5 for youth and seniors, FREE for U of U students/staff/faculty, UMFA members, college students in Utah, active duty military families, and children under six years old. Free admission offered the first Wednesday and third Saturday of each month thanks to the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts, and Parks Fund. Museum hours are Tuesday–Friday: 10 am–5 pm; Wednesdays: 10 am–8 pm; Weekends: 11 am–5 pm; closed Mondays and holidays. For more information call (801) 581-7332 or visit www.umfa.utah.edu.