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Exhibit tells of difficult journeys to paint early Utah landscapes

By Carole Mikita | Posted - Jan. 15, 2010 at 6:07 p.m.


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When you look at a painting of a landscape, have you ever wondered how difficult it was for the artist to get there?

A new exhibit at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts shares some of those secrets.

The artists in the new "The Continuing Allure" exhibit created some of these works in the 1900s.

![](http://media.bonnint.net/slc/1711/171184/17118447.jpg)
**The Continuing Allure: Painters of Utah's Red Rock** Jan. 13 - June 27 Marcia & John Price Museum Building 410 Campus Center Drive Salt Lake City **Hours:** Tuesday - Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Wednesday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Mondays and Holidays *-[UMFA](http://umfa.utah.edu/home)*
That meant they had to get to their location on horseback, traveling over treacherous terrain for days.

The early 20th century painters of Southern Utah's red rock captured its majesty, color and intriguing formations.

"There is a wide variety of work in the show. Artists working in different styles, in different techniques but all with that same kernel of inspiration of the beauty of our state," said Gretchen Dietrich, interim director of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

Beautiful, yes -- but getting to that beauty posed incredible challenges.

One artist featured in the exhibit, William Lee, came west from New York in 1922 to paint Rainbow Bridge. Donna Poulton, curator of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, said, "At that time, it took five days by horseback over slick rock to get into it, and then five days back over slick rock. And so, it was a very difficult process to get in to paint it in the first place."

Finding the paintings for the exhibit may not have been as challenging, but still took a bit of detective work.

"When I called the New York dealer to borrow [a] painting -- because it was in New York City -- she said, 'Oh, I sold it to somebody in Utah,'" said Poulton.

She literally knocked on the doors of Utah collectors to gather paintings for this exhibit. Most have never been on exhibition.

"They really liked the idea that you understood their art and that you were interested in it and that you thought enough of it to hang in an exhibition," said Poulton.

Even if you have seen this magnificent landscape, the curator says, come and gain new perspective.

"The Continuing Allure" exhibit will be at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Utah through June 27.

E-mail: cmikita@ksl.com

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