The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, December 3, 2021

Exhibition reveals how artists incorporated the science behind new lighting discoveries into their artistic practice
George B. Luks, American, (1867-1933), Closing the Café, 1904, oil on hardwood panel, 8 1/2 X 10 5/8 in. Edward W. Root Bequest, 57.175.

UTICA, NY.- From out of the darkness came light, and art changed forever.

“Astonishing Brilliance: Art, Light, and the Transformation of American Culture,” at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art August 3 though March 15, 2020, features paintings, works on paper, and decorative arts from the Museum’s permanent collection. This is the first time some of these work are on public view. The kaleidoscope of objects in the exhibition reveals how artists incorporated the science behind new lighting discoveries into their artistic practice. Discover how the quantity and quality of light—as Americans gained in their ability to produce and control it—affected perception itself.

For the majority of Americans living in the early 1800s, the candle, fireplace, and moon were the only light available at night so their days ended when the sun set, often plunging them into complete darkness. The impact of artificial lighting in the 1800s was more profound than digital technology is today.

Developments in artificial light and new lighting methods changed how Americans perceived color, depth, and brightness—changing forever how they lived. Painters and designers responded to ground-breaking innovations in lighting technology and the changes they wrought. The art they produced played a crucial role in helping Americans negotiate and celebrate the cultural transformations that each new lighting device ushered in.

“Astonishing Brilliance” explores three broad themes: the changing conception of night during the 1800s, the various lighting devices and the plethora of decorative objects they inspired; and the transformation of sunlit scenes of nature as painters became increasingly curious about the shifting qualities of light.

This night-time journey begins with a spooky, moonlit painting in which Narcisse Virgilio Díaz de la Peña (1807–1876) depicts a young woman and a witch. Diaz’s painting dramatically contrasts with George Luks’ oil sketch from 60 years later of two young women enjoying urban nightlife. Luks utilizes the brilliant, glittering effects of electric lighting to underscore their frivolity.

Next, explore various innovations in lighting technology including lighting devices and burning fuels as diverse as the Argand whale-oil lamp and the Bradley and Hubbard kerosene lamp. The changing aesthetics of fans, rugs, jewelry, and other decorative arts suggest the complex inter relationship between art, science, and industry.

The science driving these innovations fascinated painters. It fueled their exploration of how sunlight under differing conditions—weather, season, time of day—affects our perception of color and depth. The final section of the exhibition charts the shifting use of light in landscape paintings—from symbolic and dramatic in the Hudson River School era to the very subject of painting itself for Impressionists.

Today's News

August 4, 2019

National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

Rarely-seen artworks join visitor favourites for new Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery display

Exhibition surveys identity and image in British art, culture and society between 1976 and 1995

A rediscovered masterpiece by Francesco Bordoni to be offered at Drouot

Thames & Hudson to publish 'The World According to Roger Ballen'

Aargauer Kunsthaus is devoting a comprehensive exhibition to Stefan Gritsch

Exhibition reveals how artists incorporated the science behind new lighting discoveries into their artistic practice

National Portrait Gallery presents "Women of Progress: Early Camera Portraits"

Phoenix Art Museum announces departure of fashion-design curator, plans for international search

MoMA PS1 opens first survey exhibition in the U.S. devoted to the work of Julie Becker

Charlotte Jackson Fine Art opens an exhibition of new work by Pard Morrison

Pro Arts Gallery opens an exhibition of works by Burning Man Festival cofounder John law

Tezontle completes Tenaza, a site-specific project commissioned for the 2019 Havana Biennial

Museum of the Moving Image features more than 100 glass "lantern" slides

Peyton Wright Gallery opens an exhibition of photographs by William Frej

High Museum of Art presents third exhibition in series featuring drawings by Atlanta-based artists

Gallery 46 opens an all-female, multimedia exhibition

LG London opens a solo exhibition of works by British artist Dean Hughes

Reborn-Art Festival 2019 aims to rejuvenate the tsunami-ravaged northeast Japan

Sir Quentin Blake announces mammoth publishing project 'The QB Papers'

Finalists announced for the 2019 Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize

Seven young artists announced for Primavera 2019 curated by Mitch Cairns

The Crow Museum of Asian Art opens a mid-career survey of Master Shen-Long's work

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful