Mines' Bierstadt painting conserved, on display at the Denver Art Museum
GOLDEN, Colo., Feb. 2, 2010 – A rare painting by renowned 19th century western landscape artist Albert Bierstadt, which was donated to Colorado School of Mines in 1938 by wealthy Idaho Springs miner Benjamin Briscoe, was prepared for public viewing by the conservation staff at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) and is now on exhibit.
The painting, titled Yosemite, will hang on loan on the seventh floor of the DAM’s North Building as part of the historical western art exhibition Creating the West in Art through spring 2011.
“Colorado School of Mines appreciates the Denver Art Museum for its efforts to help preserve this painting. The beauty of Bierstadt’s works should be enjoyed by more people, and we are very pleased that the museum will provide that venue,” said Mines President Bill Scoggins.
The respected conservation staff of the DAM worked with the curators of the museum’s Petrie Institute of Western American Art and with Colorado School of Mines to have the Bierstadt painting conserved in the DAM conservation facilities.
“The Petrie Institute of Western American Art’s charge is to be a center for Western American art. To be able to display works like Albert Bierstadt’s magnificent view of the Yosemite Valley helps people understand the western experience. It is also gratifying to lend a helping hand and our expertise to other local institutions to ensure a great painting like this is available for the public to enjoy,” said Thomas Smith, director of the Petrie Institute of Western American Art.
About Mines’ Yosemite:
- The undated painting was previously out of public view and not catalogued by scholars.
- When the DAM conservators began cleaning the painting, a previously obscured sunset was revealed.
- Bierstadt typically used artistic license in his work and was known to move geology – as evidenced in this painting by the waterfall that is not illustrated in the postage stamp or any of the other published paintings of this scene by the artist. He bent Yosemite Falls to include all the major cathedral spires and peaks in the park and added a serene lake which no longer exists in the valley.
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