On Tuesday, January 8th, over 75 friends and members of the Bermuda National Gallery gathered at Hawthorne Fine Art on the Upper East Side of Manhattan for a reception and private viewing of the American Art gallery's current exhibition, Isles of Tranquility: Paintings of Bermuda by Clark Greenwood Voorhees (1871-1933). Guests included His Excellency the Governor, The Hon. George Fergusson and Mrs. Fergusson and Premier, The Hon. Craig Cannonier, JP MP and Mrs. Cannonier as well as Bermuda National Gallery Executive Director, Lisa Howie, Founding Trustee, Dr. Charles Zuill and Tucker Hewes, President of the Bermuda Fine Arts Foundation. During the course of the evening, the Governor and The Premier both delivered speeches. Additional speeches were given by Jennifer C. Krieger, Managing Partner of Hawthorne Fine Art; Gary L. Phillips OBE JP, Chairman of the Bermuda National Gallery and Franklin Hill Perrell, Trustee of the Bermuda National Gallery. Also in attendance were Bermuda's Minister of Finance, The Hon. Everard 'Bob' Richards JP, MP and Minister of Economic Development, Dr. the Hon. E. Grant Gibbons JP, MP.
This exhibition is only the second full-scale show of the artist’s work in three decades. Kept largely private by a sprawling family of artists and intellectuals, the paintings of Clark Voorhees have very rarely been exhibited in public. Beginning in 1919, Voorhees and a small group of fellow Old Lyme artists began to spend their winters in Bermuda, where the artist purchased a house that he named “Tranquility.” The lush, nuanced studies he produced there reflect Voorhees’s life-long interest in the natural sciences, as thoughtfully observed in Dr. Edward Harris’s review of the exhibition in the December 15th edition of The Royal Gazette. Dr. Harris praised the work as being “not only of artistic value,” but also “of significance to the historian and archaeologist, and indeed the natural scientist, for the artist captured the nature of the place, but without any intention that an historic state was being embedded in ink and paint on his canvas.”
For this and other reasons, the exhibition is very much representative of the interest of Hawthorne Fine Art and of the mission statement of gallery owner, Jennifer Krieger, known for uncovering hidden treasures of American art and incorporating them into carefully curated exhibitions. Isles of Tranquility includes 20 paintings of Bermuda landscapes by Voorhees all of which have been kept in the hands of the family and are available for viewing and for sale for the first time.
Other paintings by the artist are on display in the collections of the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT, and the Chicago Union League Club.
Hawthorne Fine Art is an Upper East Side gallery specializing in 19th and early 20th century American paintings. Gallery hours are by appointment. Hawthorne is located at 74 East 79th Street between Park and Madison Avenues in New York. For more information about Isles of Tranquility: Paintings of Bermuda by Clark Greenwood Voorhees (1871-1933) and Hawthorne Fine Art call (212) 731-0550 or visit www.hawthornefineart.com. A full color exhibition catalogue is available upon request.