Hauling and Harrowing: Edward Volkert and the Connecticut Farm
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Depictions of Agriculture in an Era of Technological Transition
This online exhibition is a work in progress to compile and analyze Lyme Art Colony artist Edward Volkert’s depictions of agriculture from the 1910s-1930s, an era of technological transition from animal-powered to industrial farming. Drawing upon research for the 2018 exhibition Art and the New England Farm, this online exhibition will consider how Volkert’s idyllic depictions of farm work reckon with subjects such as technological change, the relationship between rural and urban areas, immigration and labor sources, and the representation of health and the food supply (topics that gained particular relevance during and after World War I). While Volkert’s paintings of oxen teams harrowing fields may appear timeless, their emergence at a moment when these issues were intensively being discussed both in Connecticut and nationally allows us to consider how artists’ works help viewers navigate fraught transitions.
We hope that you will explore the images and documents on this site, which will expand over time with additional finds about Volkert and the context of his work.
Hauling and Harrowing: Edward Volkert and the Connecticut Farm has been made possible by a grant from Connecticut Humanities. Their support has allowed us to create an online exhibition that can expand along with the knowledge about the artist Edward C. Volkert. Former project intern Peter Kleeman initiated this concept as part of his graduate work at UMass, Amherst, and provided essential research and documentation of archival materials and artworks in public and private collections, for which we are deeply grateful to him and other members of the artist’s family. At the Florence Griswold Museum, Director Rebekah Beaulieu, Director of Development Matt Strekel, Director of Finance Fred Cote, Grants Writer DeeDee Filiatreault, and Registrar Mell Scalzi helped see this project to fruition.
Amy Kurtz Lansing
Curator, Florence Griswold Museum