The Mountains Are Calling: High Seasons in the Carolinas from the Johnson Collection

Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts, Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina
May 17, 2017 – September 27, 2017

Nature’s offerings of sublime vistas and quiet reverie captivated not only naturalist and poet, John Muir, but visual artists as well. While Muir’s muse was the Sierra Nevada, the ancient monumentality of the Carolinas’ Blue Ridge Mountains has inspired generations of painters on this side of the country. In sweeping scenes atop iconic peaks to vignettes of secluded woodland streams, both native-born and visiting artists expressed their reverence for the Appalachian’s Southern province. The ephemerality of nature offered additional possibilities for creative exploration by considering seasonal changes. Vibrant fall foliage gives way to snow-covered summits before bursting with lively flora and humid haze—all transient conditions rendered permanent by the artist’s brush. The Mountains Are Calling brings together a selection of artists who sought to capture the South’s seasons and sky on canvas. The featured works are as varied as their makers—from the majestic, highly-detailed nineteenth-century panoramas by William Frerichs and Andrew Melrose to the ethereal, impressionistic views by Lawrence Mazzanovich and Margaret Law.