Moov-ing art work

March 26, 2009|By ANDREW GAY / Special to The Herald-Mail

Visitors to the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts' "Animals in Art" exhibit can connect with their inner animal, from ferocious mountain lions to cuddly cats.

The exhibit will feature works of art from the past 150 years where animals of all types are the subject. Jennifer Smith, curator of the exhibit, said the animal theme was chosen because the museum has many works in its collection with animal subjects.

"People really take to seeing animals in art," Smith said. "It's another part of the natural world we've been drawn to."

The exhibit will feature 20 pieces, including three pieces on loan from a private collector. Former museum director Jean Woods helped with the exhibit and picked out some of the pieces featured.


The show includes pieces in all types of media including William Henry Howe's impressionist painting "Head of a Cow," a stoneware piece by Hilda Eiber called "Alligator Lunch," and a bronze sculpture of a puma by Dan Ostermiller.

Smith said that Ostermiller's piece is the central piece of the exhibit. The museum used it on the postcards sent out to promote the event.

"It is just a very striking image," Smith said.

She said the challenge to an artist is one reason animals appear in so many pieces of artwork today.

"Some of (the artists) are trying to catch the intensity of the animal," said Smith, "others are just trying to capture a beautiful scene."

The exhibit's opening reception was sponsored by the Singer Society, the museum's volunteer organization. The exhibit will include an animal-themed family festival and demonstration on July 26 and an animal adoption and pet-care education day on Aug. 23 sponsored by the Humane Society of Washington County.

The "Animals in Art" exhibit will be open through Aug. 30.

If you go ...

WHAT: "Animals in Art" exhibit

WHEN: Show runs through Sunday, Aug. 30. Opening reception is from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 29.

WHERE: Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, City Park, Hagerstown

COST: Exhibit and reception are free.

CONTACT: Call 301-739-5727 or visit

MORE: Animal Artists Family Festival and demonstrations from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 26; animal adoption and pet-care education day sponsored by Humane Society of Washington County from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23.

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