Vermont Vernacular

The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center announces the release of Vermont Vernacular, a set of three signed museum-quality prints by landscape artists Wolf Kahn, Petria Mitchell, and Tim Allen, created by the world’s leading digital printmaking studio, Cone Editions of East Topsham, Vermont. Available exclusively through the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, Vermont Vernacular features stunning images by artists who have spent years interpreting the distinctive colors, light, and landscape of the Green Mountain State.

Each print is limited to an edition of 80 and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Wolf Kahn’s prints will contain a signed, personal inscription to each buyer; Mitchell’s and Allen’s prints are signed and numbered. Appropriate for both public display and private enjoyment, this trio of prints, available individually or as a set, presents a rare opportunity for art lovers to own signed, archival-quality artwork at affordable prices.

Net proceeds from Vermont Vernacular support the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, whose mission is to present art and ideas in ways that inspire, educate, and engage audiences of all ages.

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The Prints

The prints in Vermont Vernacular were created by artist and master printer Jon Cone, founder of Cone Editions. They feature custom-made, 100%-pigment, fade-resistant inks on archival printmaking paper (Somerset Enhanced for Cone) with a deckled edge. Wolf Kahn’s Deep Purple Landscape is 24 x 30 inches. Mitchell’s Lavender Reflections No. 2 and Allen’s Putney Mountain Autumn are 20 x 24 inches.

Each artist’s original landscape painting was scanned using Cone Editions’ unique overhead-view camera, which is attached to a high-resolution scanner. The resulting digital file was color-matched to the original artwork. Cone Editions created several artist’s proofs, making adjustments as necessary, until the artists were satisfied that the color and definition of their original artwork had been faithfully reproduced. The artists then authorized Bon à Tirer ("ready to pull") proofs, against which every print in the edition was matched. The edition was printed in June, 2009.

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The Artists & Images

Wolf Kahn, Deep Purple Landscape

Wolf Kahn’s Deep Purple Landscape (click thumbnail to enlarge) evokes light and shadow as evening settles on a cozy farmhouse nestled in a wooded valley. Above the abiding comfort of the greens and earth hues that enfold the white house, ridge and sky glow in ephemeral blue-violet and orchid. The serenity of the scene is enlivened by Kahn’s exuberant brushstrokes and joyful use of color. The image exemplifies what John Updike meant when he wrote, in the introduction to Wolf Kahn’s America, "Kahn brings the hot, pure color of Abstract Expressionism to an idea of landscape that is tranquil, reflective, and witty."

By focusing on the margins of human experience -- the abandoned American barn -- Kahn reflects a commingling of natural and human syntaxes, an ambiguity of form and color that both obscures and glorifies the painting’s rather humble architectural subject. Louise Finkelstein describes Kahn’s career-spanning focus on the barn as a "realistic" and humanistic response to the mid-century art criticism of Clement Greenberg, who argued for the "historically necessary" dominance of abstract painting.

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Petria Mitchell, Lavender Reflections No. 2

This timeless landscape by Petria Mitchell (click thumbnail to enlarge) presents one of those flashes of breathtaking beauty that eludes the camera and is gone in an instant as the light changes. In depicting a wild yet meditative space, Mitchell contrasts a vibrant lavender sky and its reflection with a dramatic assemblage of dark, natural forms. The result is a composition filled with energy, which cannot help but spark the viewer's imagination.

Mitchell’s canvases have been described as "landscapes of memory," in that they resonate powerfully with viewers’ recollections of specific, yet differing, Vermont vistas. In a sense, her representations are both general and specific, uniting "this place" and "no place" in a harmonious realm of imagined color.

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Tim Allen, Putney Mountain Autumn

Suggestive of a peaceful walk in the forest on a misty October day, Tim Allen’s Putney Mountain Autumn (click thumbnail to enlarge) offers a glimpse into the artist's fascination with the prismatic interplay of trees and sky in the Vermont woods. Two strong birch trunks greet the viewer in the foreground. Behind them, Allen renders the forest canopy with a subtle mosaic of blues and oranges and the tints and mixtures of these complementary colors. Light breaks through the web of tree branches reaching to the sky, giving the illusion of a stained glass window created by nature.

About his work, Allen writes: As I consider the current direction of my painting, I recognize a keen interest in how objects are shaped by their surroundings, both physically and energetically. In my paintings of trees, I see this exploration as twofold: atmosphere being fractured by the presence of tree trunks, branches, and leaves. And the trees themselves being shaped and distorted by the surrounding atmosphere. I love the tension at this boundary; the visual push-pull, the two dimensional dance. In the murk of fog, mist and haze the boundary becomes blurred. Landscape and atmosphere seem to converge, revealing the fact that indeed they are made up of the same substance; different densities, perhaps, but still the same stuff.

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About Cone Editions

Founded by Jon Cone in 1980 as an experimental, collaborative print workshop, Cone Editions soon became the world’s first digital printmaking studio. It is recognized today as the epicenter of innovation in archival inkjet printing and color management systems.

Cone Editions has produced digital prints for the Corcoran Gallery, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution, among others. Founder Jon Cone is the master printer of Gregory Colbert’s Ashes and Snow Project, and he was the master printer for photographers Gordon Parks and Richard Avedon, whose last portfolios he produced. He has printed in collaboration with Stanley Boxer, Norman Bluhm, Janet Fish, Lester Johnson, Wolf Kahn, and many other painters and sculptors. In 1989 Cone Editions moved from Port Chester, New York to East Topsham, Vermont, where it is currently located.

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About the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center

In 1959, passenger train service was discontinued at Brattleboro’s Union Station. The station was sold to the town and soon fell into disrepair. When it was threatened by demolition in the mid-1960s, a determined group of residents rescued the station in the hope of transforming it into a community art center and history museum. Their foresight, determination, and creativity paid off in the grand opening of the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) on September 10, 1972.

Today BMAC is a non-collecting museum with an emphasis on presenting the art of our time. Over the years BMAC has garnered awards for excellence from a number of national, regional, and state agencies and foundations. Recent major exhibits have included Andy Warhol: The Jon Gould Collection (2004), Wolf Kahn: Landscape of Light 1953-2006 (2006), and Jules Olitski: An Inside View, A Survey of Prints 1954-2007 (2008), which is presently on tour.

In addition to exhibiting contemporary art, BMAC works closely with local elementary schools and Head Start classrooms, and presents a range of public programs throughout the year, which contribute to the cultural vitality of southern Vermont and the tri-state region.

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How To Order

To order your prints, please choose one of the options below.

To order by phone, please call 802-257-0124, ext. 101.

To order by fax or mail, please download, print out, and complete this order form, then send it to us via the instructions provided.

To order online using a credit or debit card, use the buttons below. After you have added an item to your cart, you will have the option to continue shopping, adjust quantities, or checkout.

There is no charge for shipping. Your order will be professionally packaged by BMAC staff, fully insured, and shipped via UPS ground. We regret that we cannot ship to post office boxes. Please allow up to two weeks from the date of your order for prints to arrive.

If you intend to pick up your order in person, please place your order, then call 802-257-0124, ext. 101 to arrange a pick-up time.

Special note regarding Wolf Kahn prints: Each Wolf Kahn print will be signed and personally inscribed as follows: For [first name of buyer], Wolf Kahn. If you wish to specify a different inscription, please use the "Add comments for seller" feature during checkout.

Complete Set of Three Prints

Wolf Kahn
Deep Purple Landscape

Petria Mitchell
Lavender Reflections No. 2

Tim Allen
Putney Mountain Autumn