MWP Roaring title

Mysterious, Marvelous, Malevolent: The Art of Elihu Vedder

April 5 - December 29, 2019

Since its first public appearance in 1863, Elihu Vedder’s The Questioner of the Sphinx, has been a mystery. It is the first of a group of bizarre and visionary paintings, drawings, and book illustrations that Vedder (1836 – 1923) began to create in New York City at the outset of the American Civil War. Prior to this, he had spent three years abroad, studying in Paris and Florence. There, he produced mostly bucolic studies of the Italian countryside. When he returned to New York City in 1861, he made an abrupt and radical departure into the mysterious and the dangerous.

This exhibition explores Vedder’s journey into the realm of vision, nightmare, and dream. It considers Vedder’s fascination with ancient myths and legends of the monstrous and the terrible within the context of the horror, destruction, and alienation engendered by the national crisis of the American Civil War.

This collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,
is made possible by an initiative of
Art Bridges, Inc., and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

AB + TF + MFA lock ups 1 at 72

Exhibition Programs

MA The Art of Elihu Vedder 2018 2019 520 x 372 Event Image
Mysterious, Marvelous, Malevolent: The Art of Elihu Vedder

Miranda Hofelt,
Curator of 19th-Century American Art

Free and open to the public

Discover the bizarre and the fantastic in the nightmarish visions of Elihu Vedder. Created as the American Civil War raged around him, the artist’s gloomy, ominous pictures seemed to capture the unease and fear of a nation in crisis.

This exhibition is a collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and is made possible by an initiative of Art Bridges, Inc., and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

  • Wednesday, July 3, 2019, 12 pm
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New York State Council on the Arts with the support of
Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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