October 25, 2012 – A Picture of Mount Ktaadn in the State of Maine: Although set in Maine, America’s easternmost state, Frederic Edwin Church’s (1826 to 1900) view of Mount Ktaadn (1853) offered nineteenth-century viewers a vision for the entire nation. It expresses the optimism of a youthful society which, despite rapid growth and industrialization, still pictures itself existing in harmony with nature. In this scene, Church joined the real and imaginary, creating a view of nature as well as of destiny. Beneath Mt. Ktaadn’s recognizable outline, the artist depicted not only the actual wilderness landscape that attracted many contemporary adventurers, but also the settled countryside he confidently assumed would soon be developed. Under a glowing sky radiating divine blessing, he juxtaposed cattle, bridge, farmhouse, and water-powered factory, symbolizing the future harmony of nature, agriculture, and industry.
The Master of Disaster