George and Barbara Gordon Gallery

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Mathias J. Alten: An Evolving Legacy

George and Barbara Gordon Gallery, Room 103E
Richard M. DeVos Center, Building E
401 Fulton St W E
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Hours:
Fridays and Saturdays 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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.

Mathias Alten Paintings

Gordon Gallery 1st Floor

Gordon Gallery

Gordon Gallery

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Mathias J. Alten from Private Collections

George and Barbara Gordon Gallery, Room 202E
Richard M. DeVos Center, Building E
401 Fulton St W E
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Hours:
Fridays and Saturdays 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

From September 2021 to February 2022, the second floor of the George and Barbara Gordon Gallery features a selection of Mathias J. Alten paintings drawn from private collections. These loans include examples of some of Alten’s earliest work, as well as pieces he completed at the height of his career. The work also showcases scenes from Michigan, Florida, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and abroad. Loans are provided by the Peter and Patricia Renucci Collection, the John and Ann Renucci Collection, and the S. Bradford and Connie K. Williams Collection.

gordon gallery second floor

GOrdon Gallery second floor

nude bather painted by mathias alten

gordon gallery second floor

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Resources

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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.

Gordon Gallery second floor

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Continue the Legacy

GEORGE AND BARBARA GORDON ENDOWMENT FOR THE GORDON GALLERY

Provides funds for the upkeep of the Gordon Gallery.

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MATHIAS J. ALTEN ENDOWMENT

Preserves, protects and promotes the artwork and reputation of Mathias Alten in the Gordon Gallery.

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ANITA M. GILLEO ENDOWMENT FOR THE MATHIAS J. ALTEN CATALOGUE RAISONNE'

To be used for the ongoing maintenance and additions to the Mathias J. Alten Catalogue Raisonné by GVSU.

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Location:

Richard M. DeVos Center, Building E, Room 103 and 202
401 Fulton Street West, Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Directions to the George and Barbara Gordon Gallery

Gordon Gallery Hours:

Open Fridays and Saturdays:  1:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Closed on holiday weekends:  
New Years, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day,Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Check the days we are closed in more detail!

Private tours and special open hours may be arranged by contacting the Art Gallery Department.

Contact

For special accommodation, please call:
(616) 331-3638

For exhibition details and media inquires, please email:
Joel Zwart, Curator of Exhibitions
zwartjo@gvsu.edu

For learning and engagement opportunities, please email:
Amanda Rainey, UX/Learning Manager
raineyam@gvsu.edu