Hudson River Museum Opens Elihu Vedder: Voyage on the Nile

The Hudson River Museum presents Elihu Vedder: Voyage on the Nile an exhibition on view through January 8, 2012.

American painter Elihu Vedder journed up the Nile from December 1889 to April 1890 and recorded his fascination with Egypt’s panoramas in artwork presented for the first time in this exhibition organized by the Hudson River Museum.


Elihu Vedder THE SPHINX, EGYPT, (1890) Oil on canvas, 20 1/8 x 14 3/4 inches Collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Bequest of Edgar P. Richardson, 1985.44

In the late 19th century Egypt beckoned to Americans as a stop on the Grand Tour. Wealthy tourists and artists marveled at its wondrous pyramids and temples and the desolate beauty of a desert landscape juxtaposed with the great Nile River. The exotic fascinated Elihu Vedder, an American artist, too, and from winter to spring in 1890, he traveled from Cairo to Wadi Halfa, and back, the guest of George F. Corliss of the famous Corliss Engine Company in Providence, Rhode Island. In those five months, he drew and painted the Nile’s panoramas of sand, cliffs and ancient ruins, often aboard a rented dahabeya, a traditional Egyptian houseboat.

The Hudson River Museum organized Voyage on the Nile, an exhibition of forty of Vedder’s Nile Journey artworks on view for the first time. Private collectors, art galleries, and major museums lent work for this exhibition, which is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, with essays, by Linda Ferber, Senior Art Historian and Museum Director Emerita, New-York Historical Society; Egyptologist Floyd Lattin; and, Laura Vookles, the Museum’s Chief Curator of Collections.

The exhibition and the accompanying catalogue have been made possible by a generous grant from the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, Inc.

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