The American visionary artist Elihu Vedder was fascinated by the art and culture of Italy. Born in New York City in 1836, Vedder traveled to Italy for the first time when he was twenty-two years old, returned there a few years later, and eventually settled in Rome where he died in 1923. Rome, in particular, was a Mecca for American artists in the nineteenth century drawn to the grandeur and nobility of the ancient city’s artistic past, and the pastoral beauty of the Roman campagna. Although Italy was Vedder’s adoptive country, he always considered himself an American artist.
This exhibition will include approximately twenty works by Vedder centered on the Hyde’s own holdings. Several loans from the esteemed collection of Simon Parkes will round out the visual presentation. A versatile artist, Vedder worked in a range of media and the exhibition will feature paintings, drawings, and a relief sculpture as well as three illustrated books by the artist. The exhibition will highlight several landscape views of Italy including the remarkable early vertical composition San Gimignano (1858), considered one of his finest interpretations of this medieval Tuscan town. The exhibition is curated by Erin B. Coe, chief curator of The Hyde Collection.