Autumn in the CMA’s Collection

There’s a chill in the air, the days are getting shorter, and the leaves are beginning to change from green to shades of red and gold--it’s autumn in Cleveland! Check out some season-inspired works from the CMA’s collection below to usher in autumn! 

Sunny Autumn Day, 1892. George Inness (American, 1825-1894). Oil on canvas; unframed: 81 x 106 cm (31 7/8 x 41 11/16 in.). Anonymous Gift, 1956.578

Painted in Montclair, New Jersey, about 20 miles west of New York City, Inness’s serene scene of the natural world includes only a hint of human presence, suggested by the distant small town. Rather than clearly articulating details, the artist was more interested in creating a feeling or mood in his works and therefore painted in a loose, soft style.

The Poplars at Saint-Rémy, 1889. Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890). Oil on fabric; unframed: 61.6 x 45.7 cm (24 1/4 x 17 15/16 in.). Bequest of Leonard C. Hanna Jr., 1958.32

Van Gogh painted this autumnal landscape while at an asylum near Saint-Rémy in southern France. Although at first limited to painting from memory in his room, he soon resumed working outdoors. This painting reveals the full power of his mature style. Trees twist and lean against a darkening sky, while the intense colors applied with charged brushstrokes convey his emotional reaction to the subject.

View of Schroon Mountain, Essex County, New York, After a Storm, 1838. Thomas Cole (American, 1801-1848). Oil on canvas; unframed: 99.8 x 160.6 cm (39 1/4 x 63 3/16 in.). Hinman B. Hurlbut Collection, 1335.1917

Championing the unspoiled American wilderness, Cole declared, "We are still in Eden," in his Essay on American Scenery, published two years before he painted this view of the Adirondacks. Cole sketched the scene in early summer, but when he created the painting in his Catskill studio, he rendered it in a dramatic blaze of fall colors. Such a choice likely had nationalistic overtones, for Cole once proclaimed that autumn was "one season where the American forest surpasses all the world in gorgeousness." Cole further underscored the New World character of his scene by depicting Native Americans in the right foreground foliage. At this time, the presence of Native Americans in the Adirondacks-as in most areas east of the Mississippi River-was rapidly diminishing due to forced resettlement and repression.

Savonnerie Panel: Autumn, c. 1717. Savonnerie Factory (French). Knotted pile, silk and wool; overall: 297.2 x 218.5 cm (117 x 86 in.). John L. Severance Fund, 1946.247

This suite of furniture was ordered as a royal gift for the marriage of Isabella Maria de Merode to Count Francois Joseph Czernin. The tapestries belonging to the same suite owned by the Museum bear the coat of arms of the Czernin de Chaudnitz and the Merode Westerloo family.

Yellow Leaves in Fall, c. 1950. Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009). Vintage dye transfer print; 46.9 x 36.7 cm (18 7/16 x 14 7/16 in.). Gift of George Stephanopoulos, 2013.130

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