Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Fuertes Art at Cornell

Louis Agassiz Fuertes is one of, perhaps the premiere painter of birds. Fuertes was a native of Ithaca, and Cornell has a vast collection of his artwork.

This goshawk is in the Fuertes Room at the lab and is one of dozens such paintings on the walls around this room. I'm told that these paintings were originally painted on the wals of the old lab, and when the new one was built, they cut out the walls and installed them in the new place. The paintings are placed above head height and each one is amazing, let alone a room that has dozens of these panels.

Unfortunately, our own meeting was up on the second floor, in a standard issue modern conference room, not in this much larger meeting room. Of course, if I'd been sitting in this room for 1.5 days, with this artwork in front of me all the time, I doubt I would have gotten much accomplished.

The second photo are paintings of a kestrel and a mallard. They should give you some idea of how these paintings are lined up around the walls of the meeting room. It's a large room, and the paintings surround it completely on three sides. I could have spent hours in this room alone, just studying the paintings.

Here's a link to the part of Cornell's site that has many if not all of their Fuertes work available for viewing: In addition to all the paintings, the lab also has many Fuertes drawings and sketches, many on display in the office areas of the lab. My favorite is one that is where it can be seen by the public. It's a gourache, located with a dozen or more other gouraches in a narrow space behind the fireplace in the lobby. It's a snowy owl:

That's it for my trip. Tomorrow I'll be back with photos and stories from the cabin. Have a great Thanksgiving!!

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