Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery presents a new exhibition, accompanied by two new publications (De Forest’s Santa Barbara and Collecting Moonlight: The Night Paintings of Lockwood de Forest) commemorating the historic discovery of three lost caches of sublime landscape paintings of Santa Barbara by one of America’s lost artistic geniuses of the 19th century, Lockwood de Forest. 40 Days & 40 Nights: Eighty Paintings by Lockwood de Forest (1850 – 1932) begins at Sullivan Goss January 6, 2011, and will run through April 11, 2011. Organized by Sullivan Goss, this exhibition is comprised of 40 small paintings selected from over 400 Moonlight Paintings from 1874 – 1924, and 40 Daylight Paintings of familiar Santa Barbara scenes from 100 years ago. These paintings include landmarks that no longer exist, such as the legendary Castle Rock, where the Santa Barbara Harbor now resides.
An accomplished artist, Lockwood de Forest was a National Academy painter who had been trained by his cousin Frederic Church. His New York studio was in the same buildings as those of Albert Bierstadt, Winslow Homer, and William Merritt Chase. He publicly exhibited at venues including The Century Club, the Paris Universal Exhibition, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Carnegie Institute, as well as winning several awards at World Fairs.
By being absent from much of the gallery season, it is evident that de Forest made a conscious decision, at the peak of his career, to travel rather than actively market his artwork. Research has identified that this decision would limit his role in American Art history even though his contribution to American art was significant.
In 1915, De Forest built a substantial home at 1815 Laguna Street on the upper East side of Santa Barbara, California, just a few blocks from the Santa Barbara Mission. It became his primary residence. From his home studio in Santa Barbara, de Forest continued to paint and exhibit, though his exhibition schedule was increasingly erratic in New York. The last known painting by him is dated 1929, when he would have been 79 years old. His lifetime’s output may have been as prodigious as 3,500 plein air paintings with over 400 moonlights – an effort virtually unmatched in American art. The artist passed away in Santa Barbara in 1932.
7 East Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, California