UTICA — Journey into the dark realm of vision, nightmare, and dream with “Mysterious, Marvelous, Malevolent: The Art of Elihu Vedder,” April 5 through Dec. 29 in the Museum of Art, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute.
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Since its first public appearance in 1863, Vedder’s “The Questioner of the Sphinx” has been a mystery. It is part of a group of bizarre and visionary paintings, drawings, and book illustrations that Vedder (1836–1923) began to create in New York City at the outset of the American Civil War.
Prior to this, he had spent three years abroad while studying in Paris and Florence. There, he produced mostly bucolic studies of the Italian countryside. When he returned to New York City in 1861, he made an abrupt and radical departure into portraying the mysterious and the dangerous.
Discover Vedder’s journey into the realm of vision, nightmare, and dream. Explore how Vedder may have used ancient myths and legends of the monstrous, the terrible, and the fantastic to negotiate the horror, destruction, and alienation engendered by the national crisis of the American Civil War.
Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.
This MWPAI Museum of Art exhibition is a collaboration made possible by the Art Bridges - Terra Initiative.