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Summer Breeze: Paintings & Drawings by Alice Dalton Brown

Summer Breeze: Paintings & Drawings by Alice Dalton Brown

View the exhibition gallery guide here (Adobe PDF).

An outstanding painter and draftsman, Alice Dalton Brown grew up in Ithaca and studied at Cornell University and Oberlin College. Today, she lives and works in the Hudson Valley and in King Ferry, New York. 

Dalton Brown’s working method is traditional: she draws in pencil, with pastels, and makes oil sketches, often working from photographs taken on site. She sometimes cuts up, collages, and annotates these preparatory works to explore creative ways to construct the final paintings. Her monumental painting, Grand Westfield Porch (1980), portrays a house in Westfield, New York, that Dalton Brown reinterpreted many times. Other paintings in the exhibition include memorable New York houses in Ithaca, Aurora, Auburn, and King Ferry.

Dalton Brown’s ability to sensitively capture light playing across the surface of water or passing through translucent drapery is displayed throughout the exhibition. Lake Whisper (1998), Horizon (2000), and a spectacular recent painting, Quiet Breathing (2011), demonstrate her mastery in combining direct mark-making within the context of realistic painting. These and other views of Cayuga Lake show a complex handling of dots, dashes, and lines to express a wide variety of effects.

Her subtle palette captures the fleeting brilliance of the lake in summer. As Dalton Brown remarked, “Reflecting back as an adult, I think that Ithaca itself was important . . . Ithaca is a very overcast and cloudy town because of its location. When the sun does shine, it is more special and wonderful than it might be in a place where sunshine is continuous.”

Stephanie Wiles
The Richard J. Schwartz Director

This exhibition has been supported in part by Dale Reis Johnson '58 and Dick Johnson '57.