Largely forgotten by scholars and collectors after his death, Martin Johnson Heade was an exceptionally inventive painter from the nineteenth century who is now recognized as one of the most important American artists of his generation. He was the only major American painter to devote equal time to landscape, marine, and still life subjects. He created evocative marsh scenes, powerful canvases of thunderstorms at sea, scintillating Victorian flower still lifes, small studies of South American hummingbirds, and the unique combination of those jewel-like birds with lush, tropical orchids. This exhibition shows the artist’s development in such examples as an early folk portrait to a late magnolias still life, sampling the extraordinary breadth of Heade’s oeuvre from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the preeminent public collection of his work.
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