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American Elm

American Elm

Piece description from the artist

This American Elm is stunning in all seasons. I painted it in early spring. I was trying to capture a sense of an enormous tree enveloping the viewer from above. This painting is on a relatively smaller canvas.

American Elms used to be numerous in the American landscape, before Dutch Elm disease decimated the populations. Dutch Elm disease is a fungus that reportedly came over with a shipment of lumber from Europe. It is fatal for an American Elm, usually killing the tree in a single season. The first documented case in the United States was in 1930. One estimate states that 77 million American Elms died by 1970. This is a staggering figure, changing our notion of the American landscape forever.

This tree in Prospect Park is a relic of sorts, likely to become an increasingly rare site in the future. This summer, in 2017, I spoke with some park rangers who were inoculating a few elm trees as a protective measure. Dutch Elm disease had killed several trees in the southern area of the park. Let's hope their efforts at containment are successful.

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16.0" x 12.0"
oil on canvas

Unfortunately, the original of this work is not available. However, one of our friendly Personal Curators can reach out to the artist to see if they’d be interested in a commission. Get in touch.

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