Portraits of Sky: Selections from the Permanent Collection

January 27, 2024 - Summer 2024

Ever-present, the sky hugs earth and serves as the backdrop to our world. Early morning mist; stark-blue skies; electric-pink sunsets; black, silent, star-filled nights – in all its shifting forms – the sky is reassuringly there while simultaneously reflecting the temporary realities of our lives back upon us. Portraits of Sky investigates our fascination with the world above, through artist illuminations of clouds, stars, and the sky in its transitory splendor. Created over a hundred-year period from the 1920s forward, the artworks range in style from the graphic Pop Art of Roy Lichtenstein to the delicate woodcuts of Vija Celmins. Some of the artists pay homage to mother nature, by capturing their visions of her beauty in paint, pastels, photographs, and clay, while others emphasize clouds and stars as symbols for contemporary, environmental, and social promises. The artists use their unique creative practices to accentuate the world above, by freezing a moment of fleeting existence for our everlasting enjoyment.

Organized by the Boise Art Museum

Heinemann, Steven, Event Horizon #2

Steven Heinemann, Event Horizon #2, 2011, slip cast earthenware with glazes, 17″ x 9″ x 20″, Purchased with funds donated by the A. Kay Hardy and Gregory A. Kaslo Philanthropic Gift Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation, Boise Art Museum Permanent Collection


Edgar Payne, Storm in Arizona, 1920, oil on canvas, 13″ x 16″, Gift of Wilfred Davis Fletcher, Boise Art Museum Permanent Collection

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