The German-born American artist, Mathias Joseph Alten (1871-1938) is often referred to as the Dean of Michigan Painters. Working in a traditional representational style, Alten incorporated the aesthetics and techniques of the Impressionist Movement in paintings infused with light and punctuated with deft brushwork. Based in Grand Rapids, Alten created more than 3,800 works over a forty-plus-year career including landscapes, seascapes, portraits, florals, and still-lifes. Alten began as a naturalist scene painter, eventually transitioning from Barbizon and Tonalist traditions to an Impressionistic style. His painting
style evolved according to his audience and personal preferences. And while he avoided embracing the “modernist” style of the early Twentieth-Century, he was sympathetic to it.
Grand Valley State University holds the largest public collection of Alten’s work in the world. The George and Barbara Gordon Gallery, in conjunction with GVSU’s Special Collections of Alten Family Archives,serve as vital resources for the study of the Alten’s work.
The George and Barbara Gordon Gallery is located in the Richard M. DeVos Center, Building E, Room 103 and 203, 401 Fulton Street West, Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus.
Open Fridays and Saturdays: 1:00 - 5:00 PM
Closed on holiday weekends:
New Years, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day,Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
November 24 and 25, 2016
Closed Christmas/New Years:
December 23 and 24, 2016 and December 30 and 31, 2016
April 14 and 15, 2017
Private tours and special open hours may be arranged by contacting the Art Gallery Department.
As Curator of Collections Management for the Art Gallery, Nathan physically and intellectually manages and cares for the entire GVSU art collection.
Click here to view our online collection of Mathais Alten paintings.
Mathias J. Alten Timeline - Now on view on the 2nd Floor.
Download the Gordon Gallery Brochure (pdf): page 1 | page 2
Download the Mathias Alten Poem (pdf): page 1 | page 2
Visit the Mathias Alten Catalog Raisonné
CLICK HERE for directions to the George and Barbara Gordon Gallery