Wood Interior near Mount Katahdin
Frederic Edwin Church, Wood Interior near Mount Katahdin, c. 1877, oil on paper mounted on canvas, 12 5/16 x 17 1/16 in., Collection of Olana State Historic Site, OL.1980.1871.
Wood Interior near Mount Katahdin is featured in Olana’s current exhibition, Maine Sublime, on view through October 27. In this intimate forest interior Frederic Church brilliantly captures the sun penetrating the dense forest and delineating the white birches. He expertly and delicately contrasts the greens and browns of the leaves, plants and forest floor, against the bright bark of the birches. In the left corner he provides a hint of the distant mountain top. The sketch was executed out-of-doors, as evidenced by the tack holes from securing the paper to his paint box, which are visible in the four corners. Later he mounted the paper to canvas and displayed the work in his home.
Maine Sublime explores Frederic Church’s many landscapes of Mount Desert Island and Mount Katahdin. Wood Interior near Mount Katahdin depicts the forest in the area near Church’s property, purchased in 1878, on the shores of Lake Millinocket with a view of Mount Katahdin. On the land the Churches built a rustic camp where family and friends enjoyed hiking, canoeing, and sketching the spectacular Maine scenery. Church sketched the various views around his camp, and encouraged other to take advantage of the splendors of the Maine wilderness exclaiming in an 1885 letter, “Go to the Maine Woods…”
Maine Sublime is currently on view in the Sharp Family Gallery in the main house at Olana. Visitors can enjoy the gallery during a guided tour of the house Tuesday through Sunday. Special curatorial tours of the gallery are available on Saturdays with advance registration. Please contact 518-828-0135 for more information.