Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Museum Seeks to Acquire Boreal Paintings

A series of paintings of Adirondack animals and trees affected by airborne pollutants may find a home at the Adirondack Museum, in Blue Mountain Lake.

The collection, entitled “Boreal Relationships,” comprises seven watercolors by Rebecca Richman. Richman made the paintings between 2003 and 2006, and wrote narratives on how acid rain and mercury deposition affect each subject: brook trout, red-backed salamander, red spruce, Bicknell’s thrush, common loon, sugar maple and mayfly.

The artist says she hopes the paintings will encourage people to think about connections between places and species—and lead to action to stop Midwestern pollutants from destroying habitats downwind in the Northeast. She has always hoped the originals could  “remain together as an educational force, helping to abate the threat of acid rain to the Adirondacks, a land I truly love.” Richman lived in the Adirondacks from 2000 to 2006, much of that time working for the Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter. She now lives in Colorado, where she works as a seasonal park ranger and continues to paint.  

“The museum is interested in Rebecca Richman’s Boreal Relationships paintings because they document the inter-relationships of Nature, man, and the species that are indicators for the health of boreal forests and water systems,” Adirondack Museum director Caroline Welsh said in an e-mail. “The combination of her exquisite watercolors and gentle narratives illuminating the ecological threats and effects of mercury contamination and acid deposition is a profound wake-up call and reminds us of the important role art has played in the preservation of the Adirondacks.”

According to the museum’s Web site, its art collection includes “more than 600 paintings (oil, acrylics, watercolors), 800 prints (wood and metal engravings, etchings, lithographs, serigraphs), and 1,200 drawings, sketches, and sketchbooks. Exceeding 2,500 works of art, it is the largest repository of images of the Adirondack region.”

The museum is seeking to raise $25,000 to acquire the Boreal Relationships series. Contributions may be made to the Adirondack Museum Collection Improvement Fund for the Rebecca Richman Boreal Relationships Collection.
P.O. Box 99
Blue Mountain Lake, New York 12812
518-352-7311 x 114 or 133

Home for Salamander by Rebecca Richman

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Mary Thill lives in Saranac Lake and has worked alternately in journalism and Adirondack conservation for three decades.

3 Responses

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