Cummer Resources

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is committed to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 works of art on a riverfront campus offers more than 95,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.

Art »
Upcoming Exhibitions
Past Exhibitions
European Collection
American Collection
Meissen Porcelain Collection
Antiquities
Special Collections
Gardens »
Upper Garden
English Garden
Olmsted Garden
Italian Garden
Season Highlights
Garden Ornaments
Education »
Art Connections
Classes
Tours
Programs
For Teachers
For Kids
Docents
Get Involved »
Join the Cummer
Benefits and Levels
Membership Groups
Our Partners
Make A Donation
Volunteer Opportunities
Internships
Employment

In the Gallery: The St. Johns River by Martin Johnson Heade, c.1890s in La Florida Exhibit

Apr

09

Written by Jocelyn Boigenzahn, Curatorial Intern

Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819 - 1904), The St. Johns River, c.1890s, oil on canvas, 13 x 26 in., Purchased with funds from Membership Contributions, AP.1966.29.1.

Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819 – 1904), The St. Johns River, c.1890s, oil on canvas, 13 x 26 in., Purchased with funds from Membership Contributions, AP.1966.29.1.

Martin Johnson Heade lived in Florida from 1883 until his death.  At first an avid hunter, he soon changed his views and began writing articles protesting the use of bird feathers for ladies’ hats, and even called for the protection of  wetlands at a time when marshes were more likely filled in for development than preserved.

Heade began as a portrait painter, working in a primly self-conscious and labored limner tradition. Only in the early 1860s did Heade turn to a subject well suited to his artistic personality landscapes. He worked with a limited range of pictorial elements—haystacks, clouds, sky, water and a flatly receding earth—to create a precise spatial structure within which to explore the fleeting light effects of a coastal environment.  The eerie ‘luminist’ precision of his landscapes and his independence from conventional composition contribute to the unsettling impression his work makes, as well as to its appeal to modern sensibilities.

This work depicting the St. Johns River at dusk, demonstrates his use of light effects and space to capture the simplistic beauty of the wetlands and waterways that now define Jacksonville. This work is on display as a part of the La Florida exhibition on view through October 6th.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Post Author

This post was written by who has written 85 posts on The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens.

Registrar