Friday, August 05, 2011

LDS Museum of History and Art: The LeConte Stewart Exhibit... Part 1

If you grew up in Kaysville, then you have no choice, you must see this exhibit. Many of these paintings are pictures of my memories.. places that no longer exist today or no longer exist like they were. LeConte Stewart is our painter, biographer of the land, farms and barns that have passed away and been replaced . "Barnes are going" he said, "they tear them down or they fall down." We aren't an agrarian society anymore, but farms are our foundation, they are what we came from.
My ten year old home stands on the site of some one's old farm. It makes the land sacred to me. Someone carved an existence out of the wilderness and survived on this land. It gave them the very bread they ate. LeConte Stewart had the talent to paint anywhere. I am so grateful that he recorded this place that is so dear to my heart and did it with such care. His life was glorious and he new success in his own time, which is something for any artist. But, he was troubled by great tragedy in his life losing all his siblings and his mother within a few short years. I wish I knew how and why they all died, but I can't find it anywhere.
In any case, LeConte turned to nature and art for comfort.
Painting is more than expressing the appearance of things; it is expressing the spirit of things. When you know and love a tree, you can paint its spirit, the quality God gave it.  ~LeConte Stewart
He was a fan of this little bit of Whitman...

AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road.
I also loved this declaration of faith:

I would like to tell you what kind of Latter-day-Saint I am. I couldn't be anything else, and that's why this church- the things that it proposes have got me enraptured. The Lord started it, and all I can do is fall in line. I tell you, it's over powered me. When I go out now and paint a tree, I just feel His spirit. I tell you it's marvelous... ~LeConte Stewart

Go! See the exhibit and those pictures will sing you a song that you'll remember from when you were very young.


GeNee said...

I am going to see the exhibit. I love the quotes.

Michelle said...

Beautiful post Tiff, we will have to go!