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Picturing Florida

Herman Herzog, On Alachua Lake, c. 1890, oil on canvas, 39” x 31”. On loan from a private collection. Courtesy of Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.

Herman Herzog, On Alachua Lake, c. 1890, oil on canvas, 39” x 31”. On loan from a private collection. Courtesy of Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.

Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art - Gainesville

By Claire Fenton

“Picturing Florida” assembles a selection of landscapes created by Herman Herzog (1831-1932) and Frank Hamilton Taylor (1846-1927), two traveling artists who captured unique Florida scenes at the end of the 19th century. The selected works present scenes of cities, coastal zones and wetlands that, at the time they were painted, represented images of exotic and virgin territory for the American public, who visualized our state as an Eden of lush vegetation.

Herzog was a famous landscape artist, who made frequent trips to North Florida from Philadelphia between 1885 and 1910. Florida’s unique landscape inspired more than 250 paintings, the majority of which captured scenes of the Gainesville area along the Gulf Coast between the Suwannee and Homosassa rivers. For his part, Frank Hamilton Taylor traveled to our state in 1880 as a reporter during President Ulysses S. Grant’s tour of Florida, Cuba and Mexico. Harper’s Weekly commissioned him to produce drawings and watercolors of Silver Springs, St. Augustine’s historic Castillo de San Marcos, and a scenic steamboat tour on the Ocklawaha River. This exhibition is part of the project Viva Florida 500 to commemorate the fifth centennial of the discovery of Florida. Through October 13, 2013.

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