I have never really made a constant effort to go to museums, but this past fall I decided to go to the Everhart Museum—a museum of art, science, and natural history here in Scranton, PA—as a part of my art foundation year requirements as an illustration major. I was excited enough as it was, having a renewed appreciation for the arts towards the end of my fall semester, but getting to see artworks done up close with said appreciation was really something else. It was so lovely to see not only oil paintings and more ‘traditional’ pieces that one would presume to be in a museum, but other works as well. While I was there, there were particular pieces that caught my eye, and I had to tell myself to only focus on those after realizing that it was near impossible to read every single card set up around the works.
I won’t ramble on too long about my trip, for one, because I didn’t take any pictures to document my trip, and two, because I want to discuss an artist and her works that inspire me rather than a museum trip I took last year (as enjoyable and thought-provoking as that was). I had never heard of Hope Horn, a Scranton native (1920-2001), prior to my museum trip, but I’m glad that I did. Her work is simple. It is beautiful, and I would absolutely love to own one of her original pieces. It brings out the beauty in simplicity, and the way that she paints has a sort of realism, and yet there is emotion in the mundane that she paints.
I didn’t expect to feel inspired by her art or her subject matter when I walked into her gallery, and yet there I was, spending a lot of my time just staring at her paintings. There is just something about them that makes me want to stare at them for hours and analyze them.
One painting that I was admiring for quite some time was Red Wall. This painting is oil on canvas, and while it makes me terrible for not knowing the actual size, it was quite large (for reference, the canvas was at least 5 ft. x 5 ft., and it was absolutely larger than that). I would like to note that while it is not the canvas size that solely matters in an artwork, I find it impressive that Horn was capable of creating such a captivating image with such little subject matter on such a large space.
The way in which the colors draw your eyes around the canvas is mesmerizing, and I love how the more ‘realized’ subject matter (like the desk and painting) is off to the corner. More so, I think it is very cool that the chair itself is a part of the painting, and looks to be in the same style as the painted table on the right.
I would definitely recommend going to the Everhart Museum; Horn’s gallery is worth the trip alone, and there are so many other works there to be appreciated.