Talk on Gunnar Widforss

Start date
2024-07-07 14:00:00
End date
2024-07-07 16:00:00
Address / City
1700 Westport Rd Kansas City, Missouri 64111
Gunnar Widforss, painter of our National Parks: Through the Roaring Twenties and the first half of the Great Depression, the Swedish-born landscape painter Gunnar Widforss (1879-1934) focused his discerning eye and passionate energy on the national parks of the American West. Widforss’ legacy is largely unknown today because the rise of modernism in the early-twentieth century consigned many highly skilled realistic painters to obscurity. The amiable Swede led a bohemian life in search of beautiful landscapes to paint. Widforss dressed formally as he worked and always attracted wonder-struck onlookers when he painted in Yosemite Valley, on the rim of Grand Canyon, and the other locations he favored in the national parks. The Swedish painter’s watercolors were instrumental in helping to market Stephen Mather’s vision for the national parks and the newly established National Park Service. He very well may be viewed as one of the greatest artists to paint the West.
Our presenter Alan Petersen, Curator of Fine Arts for the Museum of Northern Arizona, worked on the South Rim of Grand Canyon for three years before moving to Flagstaff in 1980 to attend Northern Arizona University. Alan has curated exhibitions of work by such notable artists as Gunnar Widforss, Joella Jean Mahoney, Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton, Merrill Mahaffey, Bruce Aiken, Ed Mell, and Curt Walters, among many others.
In 2020, Alan published the Gunnar Widforss Catalogue Raisonné, which currently lists more than 1,200 works by the Swedish-American painter.
Scandinavian Association of Greater Kansas City