Harold Weston: Freedom in the Wilds at Shelburne Museum

♪ Kevin MacLeod, “Dreamer” ♪ Freedom in the wilds means to Weston, the
exquisite, creative energy that comes from his intimate knowledge of the wilderness. Our upcoming show, Harold Weston: Freedom in the Wilds, examines the early and late work of American 20th century painter
Harold Weston. Weston did an extraordinary job of capturing all of
those different qualities of the seasons but also, the kind of relentless energy of nature. The great thing about this show is that it’s highlighting not only his artwork but also his writing and how those two communicate. He wrote prolifically, he wrote letters and diaries. I walked for an hour or more
watching patches of sunlight speed across the snow and with ragged clouds
play jazz like tunes with the sun… Weston was fearless.
He had a lame leg, he could have spent the rest of his life in a studio but he
decided instead to go live in the middle of the wilderness and in a very cold,
one-room studio with an outhouse outside, chopping his own wood. I call his
personality really wild exuberance. …and you simply have to sing,
paint, or swim to keep afloat… We’re really looking at two distinct components of his body of work, his sort of early Adirondack oils that he was painting in the early 1920s and
the second large component of this show are selections from his late work. A
collection of more than 70 paintings that he called the Stone Series. And for
anyone who has taken a walk along the shores of Lake Champlain, that’s the kind
of rocks that we’re talking about. There’s a certain way that folks
live here in Vermont, many of us like to get outside and really appreciate the
beauty that nature has to offer. He was very much an optimist,
he wanted to make a better world. We’ve got some programs that will be happening during the course of the exhibition for folks to come and learn a little bit more about the myriad
aspects of Weston’s career and biography and all of the contributions that he made to
the world around him.

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