Beginning June 3, the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will present the exhibition “The Genius of Martin Johnson Heade,” organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Although the exhibition includes landscapes, seascapes and Heade’s trademark paintings of tropical birds and flowers, it does not include any of his Cherokee Rose images. The Cherokee Rose (Rosa laevigata) is the state flower of Georgia.
To remedy this situation, Mrs. Deen Day Sanders, a noted art collector, gardener, philanthropist and Georgian, has agreed to lend Heade’s painting of two Cherokee Roses to the museum, along with four other works by Heade. Mrs. Sanders’ paintings will make up a small supplementary exhibition, on view the same dates as “The Genius of Martin Johnson Heade.”
|Martin Johnson Heade, Cherokee Roses, n.d.|
|Botanical illustration of the |
Cherokee Rose engraved by
Pierre Joseph Redouté (1759–1840).
Image: New York Public
Library Digital Collections
T.E. Stebbins, author of the catalogue raisonné on Heade, writes, “These paintings of Cherokee Roses . . . have a lushness and an aggressive confidence that far surpass [Heade’s] accomplishment in landscape during the same years and are more successful than those of northern roses in the same setting.”
Mrs. Sanders will also lend Heade’s paintings “Apple Blossoms,” “The Meadow,” “Still Life with Glass of Roses” and “A Red Rose” from her collection.
Sarah Kate Gillespie, the museum’s curator of American art, said, “The loan of these important works from Mrs. Sanders beautifully augments the pieces in the MFA Boston’s exhibition, as they feature Heade’s other well-known floral subjects: the rose and the apple blossom. The rose in particular was a significant subject for Heade, as he painted both the red rose and the Cherokee Rose more than any other American artist in the 19th century, and we are thrilled to be able to share these works, as well as the meticulously rendered landscape, with our visitors.”
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