Gifts of Winter

Gifts of Winter

By James J. White and Lugene B. Bruno. 2000.
72 pp.; 50 color, 8 b&w figs.; 8 1/2 x 11": 10 oz. Pictorial stiff paper cover. $16.00 plus shipping and handling. ISBN 0-913196-69-X.

Helleborus niger, gouache on vellum by Georg Dionysium Ehret.

This illustrated catalogue accompanied an exhibition of artworks and books representing the beauty of plant forms in the winter season, with works spanning the 17th to the 20th centuries from the Hunt Institute collection, along with paintings created especially for the exhibition by Richard Carroll, Charles Pitcher and Michael Wheeler. Biographical data on each artist and a sampling of 19th-century poetry related to the season are also included in the catalogue.

You might want to get a blanket and a mug of hot chocolate before curling up with this catalogue. Curator of Art James J. White's introduction sets the tone for this stunning celebration of the season: "From pagan times to the present day, winter's 'pale desolation' has been brightened with greenery, gifts, fires and lights, food and fellowship. While many activities are centered indoors, there is beauty in the symmetry of bare trees and in their bark, in the remains of colored leaves, dried herbs, twigs, and acorns, hickory nuts, and enjoyment of the fruits of the past season."

Anne Ophelia Dowden depicts autumn's final hurrah in the watercolor White ash, Black cherry, Shadbrush, Reg maple, Onio buckeye, American elm. Our journey through the season continues as we pause to admire Richard Carroll's egg tempera Brackets. You might want to toss another log on the fire before we stop to admire Charles Pitcher's watercolor Thoreau's Brook. With the journey nearly complete, we can sit before the fire reading the poems as the tulip bulb takes root.

White ash, Black cherry, Shadbrush, Reg maple, Onio buckeye, American elm, watercolor by Anne Ophelia Dowden.

Brackets, egg tempera by Richard Carroll.

Thoreau's Brook, watercolor by Charles Pitcher.

Also included in the catalogue are works by Ferdinand Lucas Bauer (1760-1826), Pieter Casteels (1684-1749), Elizabeth Dowle (1951- ), Stephen Fisher (1954- ), Kiyoshi Hasegawa (1891-1980), Reinder Homan (1950- ), Mieko Ishikawa (1950- ), Warren Mack (1869-1952), George Mackley (1900-1983), Alan Magee (1947- ), Stanley Maltzman (1921- ), Kate Nessler (1950- ), Marilena Pistoia (1933- ), Pierre-Joseph Redoute (1759-1840), Margaret Stones (1920- ), C. L. Taylor and Annie Elizabeth Hoyle, Frederick Andrews Walpole (1861-1904), Samuel M. Wickersham (1819-1893), John Wilkinson (1934- ), and Kokei or Kodo Yoshikawa (19th century).


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