Sunset in Georgia

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American, 19th-Century
Sunset in Georgia, 1890
Oil on canvas board
18 × 24 × 3/16 in. (45.72 × 60.96 × 0.48 cm) framed: 29 3/8 × 35 3/8 × 4 3/8 in. (74.61 × 89.85 × 11.11 cm)
Layton Art Collection Inc., Gift of Frederick Layton L163
Photo credit: John R. Glembin
Currently on View

George Inness’s winter journeys to southern Georgia served as inspiration for the subject here, but the image is not an exact representation. By this stage in his career, Inness had abandoned precise depictions in favor of conveying the spiritual in nature. The subtle coloring and atmospheric haze, for example, suggest that mystical ideals lie beyond the purely optical and that every element in the natural world is an emanation of the divine. At the same time, Inness may have included the figure of an African American wood gatherer as a reference to his pre Civil War involvement with abolitionism and his lifelong interest in social causes.

Publication History
Rozema, Kelsey. From the Collection: Paintings by George Inness. Milwaukee Art Museum: Under the Wings, August 9, 2016. https://blog.mam.org/2016/08/09/from-the-collection-paintings-by-george-inness/.

Eastberg, John C. and Eric Vogel. Layton’s Legacy: A Historic American Art Collection 1888–2013. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Layton Art Collection, Inc., 2013, pp. 149, 151, 232–33, and 458, color pl. 18, p. 232, color illus. p. 151.

Quick, Michael. George Inness: A Catalogue Raisonne. Vol. II. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2007, pp. 285–86, cat. 970, color p. 201.

Smith, Joel. Edward Steichen: The Early Years. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press in association with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999, illus. p. 12, b/w fig. 5.

Milwaukee Art Museum. 1888: Frederick Layton and His World. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1988, pp. 64-5, cat. 14, color illus. p. 55.

Goldstein, Rosalie, ed. Guide to the Permanent Collection. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1986, p. 108, b/w illus. p. 108.

The Cummer Gallery of Art. George Inness in Florida 1890-1894 and in the South 1884–1894. Jacksonville, Florida: The Cummer Gallery of Art, 1980, cat. 9, illus. p. 21.

Ireland, LeRoy. The Works of George Inness. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1965, p. 338, no. 1330, illus. p. 338.

University of Texas, Austin. The Paintings of George Inness. Austin: University of Texas, Austin, 1965, cat. 114.

Bowdoin College. The Portrayal of the Negro in American Painting. Brunswick, Maine: Bowdoin College, 1964, cat. 60, illus.

Paine Art Center. A Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings by George Inness. Oshkosh, Wisconsin: Paine Art Center, 1962, cat. 24, illus.

City is Art Minded, in an Economic Way. The Milwaukee Journal, October 1, 1950, p. 1, NewsBank America’s Newspapers, http://infoweb.newsbank.com (accessed August 24, 2017).

The Howard University Gallery of Art. The Negro in the American Scene. Washington, DC: The Negro in the American Scene, 1942.

College Art Association of America. The Index of Twentieth Century Artists 4, no. 3 (December 1936): 364.

Summer Brings Strangers to See The Wood Gatherer. The Milwaukee Journal, July 7, 1935, part 7, p. 5, NewsBank America’s Newspapers, http://infoweb.newsbank.com (accessed August 24, 2017).

Layton Gallery Pictures Transformed by Bath. The Milwaukee Journal, May 19, 1935, part 7, p. 5, NewsBank America’s Newspapers, http://infoweb.newsbank.com (accessed August 24, 2017).

Pollack, Frances M., and Greta A. Cornell. The Index of Twentieth Century Artists, 1933-1937. New York: Research Institute of the College Art Association, 1933. Vol. 4.

Public Taste Reflected in Favorite Layton Pictures. The Milwaukee Journal, July 23, 1933, p. 7, NewsBank America’s Newspapers, http://infoweb.newsbank.com (accessed August 24, 2017).

Layton Art Gallery. Catalogue of the Layton Art Gallery. Milwaukee: Layton Art Gallery, 1921, p. 61, cat. 163, b/w illus. no. 163.

Bryant, Lorinda Munson. American Pictures and Their Painters. New York: John Lane, 1920, illus. after p. 24.

Bryant, Lorinda Munson. American Pictures and Their Painters. New York: John Lane, 1917, pp. 54–5, illus. p. 54.

Bryant, Lorinda Munson. What Pictures to See in America. New York: John Lane, 1915, pp. 276–77, illus. p. 278.

Hartmann, Sadakichi. Our American Art Museums: The Layton Art Gallery of Milwaukee. Arts & Decoration 5, no. 12 (October 1915): 466.

Pattison, James William. The Layton Art Gallery of Milwaukee. Brush and Pencil 3, no. 4 (January 1899): 202 and 212.

Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, February 1–2, 1898 [auction catalogue]. New York: Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, 1898, no. 73.
Exhibition History
1888: Frederick Layton and His World, Milwaukee Art Museum, April 8–August 28, 1988.

George Inness in Florida 1890–1894 and in the South 1884–1894, The Cummer Gallery of Art, Jacksonville, Florida, April 11–May 25, 1980.

The Paintings of George Inness, University Art Museum, University of Texas, Austin, December 12, 1965–January 30, 1966.

The Portrayal of the Negro in American Painting, Museum of Art, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, May 15–June 15, 1964.

Art of the Masters, Ripon College, Ripon Wisconsin, October 1–November 1, 1963.

A Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings by George Inness, Paine Art Center, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, October 2–October 28, 1962.

Wright Art Center, Beloit College, September 13, 1959–October 28, 1959.

150 Years of American Painting, Bergstrom Art Center, Neenah, Wisconsin, November 20, 1959–December 20, 1959.

The Negro in the American Scene, Howard University, Washington DC, March 9–April 12, 1942.


This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.