Amon Carter Museum of American Art Presents Exhibition of Fort Worth Artists Scott and Stuart Gentling

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Amon Carter Museum of American Art Presents Exhibition of Fort Worth Artists Scott and Stuart Gentling

Three works on paper depicting Texas birds

Fort Worth, TX, September 5, 2019 — The Amon Carter Museum of American Art presents Seeing in Detail: Scott and Stuart Gentling’s Birds of Texas, on view September 14 through December 1, 2019. The exhibition consists of 23 original watercolors by the Gentlings, each of which portrays a native Texas bird within a broader landscape. Painted between 1981 and 1985, these paintings invite viewers to look closely and to reflect on the meaningful ways in which human and avian lives intersect. Admission is free.

The subjects of the Gentling’s paintings include common birds such as the Cliff Swallow, Great-tailed Grackle and the Mourning Dove, but also rare species such as the Flammulated Owl and the threatened Burrowing Owl. These birds appear in landscapes that capture iconic features of Texas, including roadside bluebonnets, Spanish Colonial architecture, and the magisterial bluffs of Big Bend National Park.

Each painting depicts bird and landscape in extraordinary detail. Often, there are hundreds of brushstrokes per feather. Scott (1942-2011) and Stuart Gentling's (1942-2006) exacting approach creates remarkable renderings of light and texture, such as the iridescent shimmer of a pheasant’s plumage under winter light, or the pockmarked weathering of a sandstone riverbed. These details are invitations to look close, to consider aspects of the natural world that we might easily overlook

“Scott and Stuart’s paintings are difficult to categorize,” says Spencer Wigmore, assistant Curator of Painting, Sculpture, and Works on Paper. “The same can be said about their interests in birds. Growing up in Fort Worth, they took up falconry and bred ornamental pheasants. They became accomplished birdwatchers and hunters. Stuart even ventured into taxidermy. What strikes me about these watercolors is that they reflect all of these different ways of encountering and engaging with nature.”  

Born in Rochester, Minnesota, on New Year’s Eve, 1942, Scott and Stuart Gentling moved with their family to Fort Worth at the age of five. They began collaborating on creative endeavors soon after and became professional artists in their twenties. In parallel careers that spanned more than forty years, the brothers lived and worked together in Fort Worth, where they built a regional and national reputation for their art.

Painted between 1981 and 1985, and later reproduced as a portfolio of prints entitled Of Birds and Texas, the paintings in this exhibition are the result of the brothers’ collaborative approach to artmaking. Most of the watercolor work was done by Scott, the more prolific of the two artists. But Stuart collaborated throughout, conducting research, designing compositions, making preparatory drawings, and finishing certain works. “One of the challenges of preparing this exhibition,” says Wigmore, “was trying to determine the role that each brother played in the creation of a particular painting. They worked so closely that it’s often difficult to know for certain.”

Seeing in Detail: Scott and Stuart Gentling’s Birds of Texas opens to the public on September 14 during our Party on the Porch event from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Carter members will be allowed early access to the exhibition during our Member Preview Days running from now through September13.

The museum will celebrate Seeing in Detail on November 14 with Flights of Fancy. The event includes a gallery talk with Assistant Curator Spencer Wigmore and Jonathan Frembling, Gentling Curator and Head Museum Archivist and a beer tasting from a local brewery. Tickets are $10, free for Carter members. For dates, prices, and details, visit cartermuseum.org.

Seeing in Detail will be featured in the new Works on Paper gallery on the mezzanine level, a space dedicated to exploring the Carter’s works on paper collection. There are nearly 10,000 drawings, prints, and watercolors in the Carter’s collection. Every few months, the Carter will delve into a different aspect of these holdings, revisiting old favorites and unearthing hidden gems. Seeing in Detail is an introduction not just to Scott and Stuart Gentling, but to the depth and breadth of works on paper at the Carter.

Seeing in Detail: Scott and Stuart Gentling’s Birds of Texas is organized by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and is the first of two rotations highlighting the work of Scott G. and Stuart W. Gentling’s Of Birds and Texas.  

About the Gentling Study Center
Located in the heart of Fort Worth’s Cultural District, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art explores the breadth and complexity of American creativity through an important and dynamic art collection. The Carter opened in 1961 to benefit its community by sharing the wonder of American art, fostering the growth of a vibrant cultural spirit, and stimulating everyone’s artistic imagination. Housed in a building designed by Philip Johnson (1906–2005), the Carter features one of the great collections of American art including masterworks of painting, sculpture and works on paper by artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, John Singer Sargent, Frederic Church, Thomas Eakins, Grant Wood, Alexander Calder, and Stuart Davis. The Carter is also home to a world-renowned photography collection spans the history of the medium from the 19th century to today. It is also home to Amon G. Carter Sr.’s collection of nearly 400 works by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, two of the most significant artists of the American West. Admission is free. Open: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday 12–5 p.m. Closed Mondays and select holidays. cartermuseum.org @theamoncarter

About the Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Located in the heart of Fort Worth’s Cultural District, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art explores the breadth and complexity of American creativity through an important and dynamic art collection. The Carter opened in 1961 to benefit its community by sharing the wonder of American art, fostering the growth of a vibrant cultural spirit, and stimulating everyone’s artistic imagination. Housed in a building designed by Philip Johnson (1906–2005), the Carter features one of the great collections of American art including masterworks of painting, sculpture, and works on paper by artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, John Singer Sargent, Frederic Church, Thomas Eakins, Grant Wood, Alexander Calder, and Stuart Davis. The Carter is also home to a world-renowned photography collection that spans the history of the medium from the 19th century to today. It is also home to Amon G. Carter Sr.’s collection of nearly 400 works by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, two of the most significant artists of the American West. Admission is free. Open: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday 12–5 p.m. Closed Mondays and select holidays. cartermuseum.org @theamoncarter

Images: Scott Gentling (1942–2011), Stuart Gentling (1942–2006), Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, ca. 1981–85, graphite, opaque and transparent watercolor, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Gift of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History; Scott Gentling (1942–2011), Crested Caracara, 1984, graphite, opaque and transparent watercolor, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Gift of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History; Scott Gentling (1942–2011), Stuart Gentling (1942–2006), Black-crowned Night Heron, 1983, graphite, opaque and transparent watercolor, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Gift of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History