Looking Close and Seeing Far

  • "Looking Close and Seeing Far" is the title of an art history book that I found to be a profound commentary not only on the works of the artists it describes, but also on a methodology for considering works by any other artists. It was published in 2008, and is the work of Dr. Kenneth Haltman, an art history professor at the University of Oklahoma. In  it he examines the paintings produced by Samuel Seymour and Titian Ramsay Peale done during and in the immediate aftermath of their trek west as part of the Stephen H. Long Expedition in 1819-20. In this show I'll discuss this book and the paintings, but basically I'm trying to use it as an example of how sometimes something happens that changes how you have historically seen things. I've been buying and selling art since 1971, and I had not only never heard of Samuel Seymour, I had never considered viewing art in the way Haltman describes. I bet that all of you have had similar experiences--out of the blue you learn something that causes you to re-examine long held beliefs. It's salutary!