Artwork of the Week: September 2018 (Week 39)
John B. Fairbanks (1855-1940), Harvesting in Utah Valley, 1925, oil on canvas, 32 x 48 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of the Agricultural Club, 1928.
Two farmers stoop to gather the few remaining strands of wheat in a harvested row of a sunny field. The sheaves of grain glisten in the brilliant sunshine, and the workers seem to stand on a sea of gold. A water keg and lunch basket are tucked into the shade of the stacks. Strong perspective lines lead the eye toward the undulating ridges of Mount Timpanogos. The abundant harvest recalls an earlier, quieter time in Utah Valley. J. B. Fairbanks was one of the “art missionaries” sponsored by the LDS Church to receive art training in Paris in preparation for painting the Salt Lake Temple murals. The bright colors and thickly painted highlights on this painting reflect the influence of French Impressionism.