On the Road

Past Time: Geology in European and American Art

  • The Frances Lehman Loeb Arts Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY
  • September 21 - December 9, 2018
Horseshoe Falls and Table Rock, ca. 1856–57, Frederic Church (American 1826–1900), Oil on canvas, Collection Olana State Historic Site, Hudson, NY, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation OL.1981.9.A.B

Past Time: Geology in European and American Art looks at sketches and studies made by European and American artists from the 1770s to the 1890s who were engaged with a new, scientific emphasis on the Earth. In this arguably golden age of art and science, artists traveled and investigated the land internationally, noting Earth’s craggy features keenly in their watercolors, drawings, and oil sketches made on the spot or back in the studio. From a topographical, often strata-focused means to a later mode that evoked nature’s great transformational powers over time, this major loan exhibition explores European and American artists pursuing geological wonders. Read more.


Frederic Edwin Church, Cliffs and Rocky Cove, Mount Desert Island, August 1850. Oil sketch on cardboard, 12 1/8 x 16 1/8 inches. OL.1978.22
Frederic Edwin Church, Mount Chimborazo at Sunset, 1857. Oil on academy board, 12 x 21 7/16 inches, OL.1980.1884
Frederic Edwin Church, Horseshoe Falls and Table Rock, 1856-1857. Oil on canvas, 17 5/8 x 11 5/8 inches, OL.1981.9.A.B
Natural History Specimen: Fossilized sandstone with fish tail and spine, 6 1/8 x 5 1/8 x 5/8 inches. OL.1989.216
Natural History Specimen: Stone with 12 embedded black fossils. 1 3/8 x 5/8 x ½ inches, OL.1989.288