George Inness and the Poetry of Place

George Inness, "Montclair, The Rainbow"

     George Inness (1825-1894) is one of America's most important nineteenth-century landscape painters.   Born in New York's Hudson Valley, in Newburgh, Inness moved to Newark, New Jersey as a child, and was brought up there.  After he was lucky enough to attract the attention of a patron, Inness had the opportunity to develop the artistic training he had begun in New York city with sojourns in Rome and Paris in the 1850s.  After returning to the United States and spending some time in Massachusetts, Inness eventually retired in 1885 to Montclair, New Jersey and lived there until his death in 1894.  By now an artist of renown, his presence in Montclair attracted other artists to the place making Montclair into something of an artists' colony.  Ironically enough, however, Inness' finest hour was probably at the Paris Exposition of 1900 -- six years after his death -- at which the United States Department of Fine Arts showcased Inness' paintings as embodying a truly "American" school of art, his atmospheric landscapes being a refreshing departure from the exotic subject matter rendered in photographic style that characterized the French academic school at that time.

     As part of the Institute for the Humanities' "Jersey: A Sense of Place" lecture series, sponsored by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, Adrienne Baxter Bell, Professor of Art History at Marymount Manhattan College, and author of many articles and books on George Inness, will give an illustrated lecture on "George Inness and the Poetry of Place" at the Montclair Art Museum, 3 S. Mountain Ave., Montclair, NJ 07042, April 4, 7-8 p.m.  The lecture is free and open to the public and coincides with "Free First Thursday" when the museum itself is open late and free 5 - 9 p.m., offering an opportunity to view the museum's outstanding collection of Inness art either before or after the lecture.

    For further information, contact Victoria Larson, Director, Institute for the Humanities,