Past Exhibitions

Expanding Horizons: Painting and Photography of American and Canadian Landscape 1860-1918

October 17, 2009 to January 17, 2010


Albert Bierstadt
Yosemite Valley, 1868
oil on canvas
Oakland Museum of California
Gift of Miss Marguerite Laird
in memory of Mr. and Mrs. P. W. Laird




Frederic Edwin Church
Niagra Falls, from American Side,1867
oil on canvas
The National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh
Photo: A. Reeve
Expanding Horizons is a rich and varied survey of a period which forged a sense of identity that is closely tied to the landscape in both Canada and the United States. The wonders of the natural world form the subject of many of the paintings and photographs in this major exhibition, which explores the relationship between painting and photography from the time of the American Civil War to the end of the First World War in both countries.

The exhibition investigates many themes, including the emergence of ideas of nationalism, the relationship between the expanding urban environment and nature, the role of railways in expanding artistic subject matter, as well as the ways in which photography altered the practice of painting. Divided into six sections—Nature Transcendent, The Stage of History and the Theatre of Myth, Man Versus Nature, Nature Domesticated, The Urban Landscape and The Return to Nature—the exhibition examines the changing relationships to and appreciation of the natural world in both countries. The differing views of Niagara Falls, both on canvas and in photography, are but one example of this continuing evolution.

Expanding Horizons brings together for the first time works by American painters Frederic Church, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam and Georgia O’Keeffe and their Canadian counterparts Otto Jacobi, David Milne, A.Y. Jackson, Emily Carr and Lucius O’Brien, among many others. Together with photographers such as Eadweard Muybridge, Carleton Watkins, Alfred Stieglitz, Alexander Henderson, William Notman and Benjamin Baltzly, these artists helped to shape our understanding of the North American landscape and our place within it.

The exhibition is produced by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and curated by Hilliard T. Goldfarb. It has been supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

CO-PRESENTING SPONSORS:

Canaccord | Peter and Joanne Brown Foundation


This exhibition is produced by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. It has been supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

MMFA