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Storm Clouds over the Marshes

Object Name: Landscape
Date: ca. 1871-1875
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Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Unframed: 13 1/8 × 24 1/4 × 1 3/8 in. (33.3 × 61.6 × 3.5 cm) Framed: 24 3/4 × 37 3/4 × 3 1/2 in. (62.9 × 95.9 × 8.9 cm)
Credit Line: Collection of Arthur and Eileen Newman, Bequest of Eileen Newman, 2015
Object Number: 2015.33.7
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Storm Cloud over the Marshes is one of Heade’s signature marsh landscapes, of which he painted more than 100 between 1861 until his death in 1904. While many Hudson River School painters chose to portray mountainous landscapes, Heade preferred the flat salt marshes and meadows of New England, New York, and New Jersey, where only vertical haystacks counter horizontal bands of sky, water, and land. In this depiction of a hay harvest in Newburyport, Massachusetts, stacks of salt hay dry in the heat while dark clouds mark an impending late-summer storm. Heade captures the dramatic contrast between ominous storm clouds (whose shadow is cast on the land below) and the tranquil blue sky that fills the middle third of the canvas. A dedicated naturalist, Heade was apprehensive about the changes human development and industry might bring to the environment.

Exhibitions:

"A Hudson River School Legacy: The Newman Bequest and Other Gifts," New-York Historical Society, March 24, 2017-June 4, 2017.