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(Joachim) Ferdinand Richardt (1819-95,) `View of the Niagara River Looking Toward Lake Ontario,` 1857, oil on canvas, 16-by-241/2 inch. (Courtesy of Peter Barton Hutt // submitted by the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University)
(Joachim) Ferdinand Richardt (1819-95,) "View of the Niagara River Looking Toward Lake Ontario," 1857, oil on canvas, 16-by-241/2 inch. (Courtesy of Peter Barton Hutt // submitted by the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University)

Castellani Art Museum welcomes new painting by Joachim Ferdinand Richardt to 'Northward: Niagara River Views' exhibition


Thu, Jan 11th 2024 08:15 pm

Submitted by the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University

The Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University is proud to announce the addition of a significant artwork by Joachim Ferdinand Richardt to its current exhibition, “Northward: Niagara River Views,” on view through March 31. This exhibition, curated by CAM Registrar Mary Helen Miskuly, showcases an array of stunning artworks depicting the Niagara River and its surrounding landscapes.

The new addition is a remarkable painting by Richardt, a Danish artist known for his breathtaking landscapes. This particular painting, dated 1857, is a beautiful look at the Niagara River landscape. It is a sister painting to “Niagara University,” a painting also by Richardt, which was recently conserved through a grant from the Greater Hudson Heritage Network.

Originally, the “Niagara University” work was attributed to an unknown painter. It was only through detective work done by Miskuly that the painting was attributed to Richardt, an acclaimed painter.

The inclusion of the new painting next to “Niagara University” further enriches the narrative of the Niagara Region as portrayed in the exhibition, and provides evidence that “Niagara University” was indeed painted by Richardt himself.

The display of this artwork can be solely attributed to Peter Barton Hutt, a CAM donor and enthusiast of Niagara Falls paintings. Hutt, originally from Western New York and with familial ties to the former Hutt’s Dairy in Kenmore, won the auction for this masterpiece and generously decided to lend it to CAM, enabling the public to experience a broader perspective of the Niagara River’s history.

The “Niagara University” painting is one of over 1,000 Niagara River artworks in CAM’s collection and is particularly significant for its historical depiction of the Niagara University campus as it was in the 19th century. This piece enhances the exhibition by accompanying other works from artists such as William Bartlett and Amos W. Sangster, as well as a rare Lewiston oil painting by Capt. James Van Cleve, provided by Hutt.

Furthermore, Hutt has recently contributed a piece by Canadian artist John Symes, titled "Maid of the Mist II," set to be showcased in the forthcoming “Daredevils of Niagara Falls: The Spectacle of Triumph and Tragedy” exhibition.

Eileen Sullivan of Aurora Art Conservation LLC played a crucial role in the conservation of the original Richardt painting. Her expertise has brought this important piece of Niagara University’s history back to life, contributing to Miskuly’s ongoing efforts to revive the collection since 2015.

The exhibition also features a unique connection to Niagara University’s history, highlighted by research conducted by NU student Ryan Dutschman (‘19). His findings about the Our Lady of Angels Cemetery, depicted in the Richardt painting, reveal the rich and complex history of the university and its surroundings.

“Northward: Niagara River Views” is on display at CAM until March 31. This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to view the Niagara River and its environs through the lens of various artists, including the recently acquired and conserved works by Ferdinand Richardt.

For more information about the exhibition and the conservation process, visit the Castellani Art Museum’s website or watch the short video “Conserving Niagara.”

For more information on the CAM, visit www.castellaniartmuseum.org, or follow CAM’s Facebook page, X (formerly Twitter) @CAM_of_NU and Instagram @CastellaniArtMuseum.

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