Allen Blagden (American, b. 1938), Victoria Crowned Pigeons, 1984, watercolor, 22 x 30 in., Private Collection, © Allen Blagden, Photograph by Don Perdue

February 12 to April 16

Glens Falls, N.Y. - To contemporary realist Allen Blagden, nature isn't just a place to go for a hike on a clear day. Being surrounded by the serenity of forests, lakes, seashores, and open fields is essential to the artist's creative spirit and sense of well-being. Marking the Moment: The Art of Allen Blagden, featuring forty-seven of the distinguished artist's works, opens to the public Sunday, February 12, at The Hyde Collection.

"We are thrilled to have the works of one of the nation's greatest watercolorists at The Hyde," said Erin Coe, Director of the Museum. "He combines a naturalist's love and respect for his subjects with a mastery of watercolor."

Mr. Blagden creates landscapes, images of wildlife, and portraits of family and friends strongly rooted in the tradition of American Realism, specifically the work of Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth. "He has absorbed and transformed their approaches into an original aesthetic sensibility," said Caroline Welsh, curator of Marking the Moment, an art historian and director emerita of Adirondack Museum. "His art gives us new ways to see and encounter our world."

Born into an artistic family, Blagden began his art training at age ten, under his father's direction at Hotchkiss School in Northwest Connecticut. He later studied at Cornell University, had a painting fellowship at Yale University Summer School, and took figure drawing at the National Academy of Design.

"He fuses technical precision with acute observation and instinct for striking compositions," Welsh added. 

Blagden's landscapes and portraits show a deep reverence for his subjects-a much-respected grandmother, his daughters, the Adirondacks, and the island in Maine where he made memories with his family. His works of wildlife are unparalleled in their detail. Blagden's love of birds and animals is rooted in an internship illustrating for Serengeti National Park in Kenya, working for the Department of Ornithology at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and summers spent in the Adirondacks and on the coast of Maine.

"My work is always enhanced by my imagination," Blagden said. "I want the freedom to build on what I see in nature, rather than just record it."

The result is a portrayal of the natural world that is both realistic and impressionistic. Blagden's work is in the collections of numerous museums, including the Adirondack Museum, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Terra Foundation for American Art, Berkshire Museum, Shelburne Museum, and The Butler Institute of American Art, among others. His art is included in the collections of Billy Joel, David Rockefeller, and William Scranton. 

Marking the Moment events

On Thursday, March 30, The Hyde's monthly Hyde Night Out will feature a Gallery Talk with Caroline Welsh, curator of Marking the Moment: The Art of Allen Blagden. Welsh will talk about her longtime relationship with the artist, and about his art, inspiration, and influences while touring the exhibition. Those interested in attending should RSVP by contacting Colette Broestler at 518-792-1761 ext. 310 or adminassist@hydecollection.org.

On Thursday, April 6, The Hyde hosts an Allen Blagden Studio Day Trip to Salisbury, Connecticut, and Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The member-only trip offers attendees the opportunity to meet Mr. Blagden and experience a private tour of his home and studio. Then, the group heads to lunch, followed by an exclusive tour of the Norman Rockwell Museum. Registration for the trip will open soon. To learn more, contact Cheryl Martin at 518-792-1761 ext. 346 or cmartin@hydecollection.org.

What is The Hyde?

The Hyde Collection is one of the Northeast's exceptional small art museums with distinguished collections of European and American art, and Modern and Contemporary art. Its permanent collection of nearly 4,000 works spans centuries and consists of paintings, drawings, graphics, sculpture, furniture, and decorative arts. The core collection, acquired by Museum founders Louis and Charlotte Hyde, includes works by such artists as Sandro Botticelli, El Greco, Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Edgar Degas, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and American artists Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, and James McNeill Whistler. The Museum's collection of Modern and Contemporary art features works by artists including Josef Albers, Dorothy Dehner, Sam Gilliam, Adolph Gottlieb, Grace Hartigan, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, George McNeil, Robert Motherwell, Ben Nicholson, Robert Rauschenberg, and Bridget Riley. The Hyde Collection presents changing exhibitions in its three galleries, as well as lectures, cultural events, family activities, and school programming in its modern museum complex and historic house at 161 Warren St., Glens Falls.

For more information, please visit www.hydecollection.org or call 518-792-1761.

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For More Information:    

Rhonda Triller
Communications Associate
The Hyde Collection
518.792.1761 ext. 320
rtriller@hydecollection.org

 

Photo: Allen Blagden (American, b. 1938), Victoria Crowned Pigeons, 1984, watercolor, 22 x 30 in., Private Collection, © Allen Blagden, Photograph by Don Perdue