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11th Annual Wanda Hollensteiner Conservation Lecture 

Adirondack Wilderness: A Place to Paint 1850-1880

by Caroline Welsh

Generous support from Wanda Peterson Hollensteiner ’54 and James Hollensteiner funds the conservation of one work annually from the Wright Museum of Art’s collection. This year, Valley of the AuSable (1866) by Augustus Rockwell is the featured work. To shed light on this painting, the Wright Museum of Art is proud to host Caroline Welsh, art historian, independent curator, and Director Emerita of the Adirondack Museum. Rockwell’s painting was given to the museum in 1912, by Mary Ripley Goodwin. 

America’s wilderness regions fueled the artistic imagination and were laboratories for evolving ideas about the land and its role in American culture. Few other places in the country served America’s artists for so long or with so many subjects as the Adirondack wilderness in upstate New York. Artists came to the Adirondacks to hunt and fish, explore wild nature, and to hone their skills at transcribing and interpreting the Adirondack wilderness. The natural grandeur of the American land, particularly the Adirondacks, was taking center stage in American art. This lecture looks at art of the Adirondacks created between 1850 and 1880 and provides cultural perspectives on the artists lives and times.

About Caroline Welsh

Caroline Mastin Welsh is an art historian, curator of art, and Director Emerita of the Adirondack Museum. She is one of the leading art historians on art and artists of the Adirondacks. Publications include Adirondack Prints and Printmakers: The Call of the Wild and The View from Asgaard: Rockwell Kent’s Adirondack Legacy.

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