True to Life: The Art of Robert Verity Clem
Robert Verity Clem’s art is all about the experience of observing birds in their habitats. He once said, “I want to show birds in all the attractive situations in which they are found, as they are seen, using the play of light and shadow.” The success of his paintings results from a lifetime dedicated to watching birds. Clem (1933-2010) spent nearly all his life in Chatham, Massachusetts.
Exhibition curator Gigi Hopkins says, “Robert Verity Clem was one of the greatest bird artists of his time. Working in both transparent and opaque watercolors, he developed an unusually detailed technique—which on close inspection, reveals a surprisingly soft, subtle, painterly approach.”
This is the first retrospective exhibition of Clem’s work. On display are 40 watercolors, many never before seen in a public exhibit. Some are part of Mass Audubon’s extensive collection of Clem’s paintings, and others are on loan from 15 private collections as well as the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and the Cincinnati Museum Center. In addition to the paintings, visitors will see sketchbooks and drawings, and film clips from the artist’s 1963 trip to Iceland.