The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel presents America the Beautiful: The Monumental Landscapes of Clyde Butcher on display through Sept. 4.
Clyde Butcher’s photographs celebrate the beauty of the American landscape with a monumental size and extraordinary clarity that set them apart as exceptional works of art. Butcher continues the tradition of the 19th-Century Hudson River School painters, composing his works at strikingly beautiful and untarnished locations across the United States.
America the Beautiful includes 56 large scale, black and white photographs of the American landscape, spanning beautiful sites across the United States, from the coast of Maine, to the Badlands, to Hawaii. Butcher’s views include some of the same locations shot by the photographer Ansel Adams, demonstrating the unique light and clarity that his artistic vision brings to those scenes. The beauty of Butcher’s photographs is further emphasized by the epic size of his works. The exceptional size of his compositions – the largest is 5 by 8.5 feet – allows the viewer to experience the beauty of the site from an almost first-hand perspective.
Butcher’s unique technique enables him to capture a breathtaking amount of detail within his images. He shoots with an 8 x 10-inch wooden large format view camera from the 1940s, creating an extraordinary depth of field through a synthesis of wide-angled lenses and a small lens opening. His large negatives, combined with orange and blue filters and a longer than average exposure time – up to ten minutes – allow for clarity and incredible detail within his compositions.
Butcher is known nationally as an avid conservationist who uses his art to help preserve America’s environment. His most recent projects include work for Rocky Mountain National Park, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, Wilderness Society, Everglades National Park and many other environmental organizations in the state of Florida where he lives. He has been honored by innumerable organizations, including the Sierra Club, which has given him the Ansel Adams Conservation Award, and Public Broadcasting in an award-winning half-hour documentary of his work.
This exhibition was organized by Photographic Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA. and is generously sponsored by Sanderson Farms and The Jean Chisholm Lindsey Exhibition Endowment Fund.
Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street in Laurel. The galleries are open from 10am until 4:45pm Tuesday through Saturday and 1 until 4pm on Sunday. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. For more information call 601.649.6374 or visit www.LRMA.org.