This past weekend while at Cornell University for my better-half’s 25th college reunion, I visited the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. I found myself completely absorbed in a huge, beautifully executed painting that hangs above the main entrance to the museum. Though it seemed familiar, I couldn’t quite place the artist. A gracious man, whom I would later learn was the former director of the museum, Frank Robinson, began giving me a bit of history about the painting.
I learned that this painting is The Communion by Gari Melchers. The Communion was exhibited in the Paris International Exposition in 1889 where co-founder and first president of Cornell University, Andrew Dickson White first saw the painting. He later arranged for it to be gifted to Cornell University as a part of their growing art collection.
Gari Melchers (Julius Garibaldi Melchers August 11, 1860 – November 30, 1932) was an American painter who studied and worked abroad before returning to America, spending many years in New York and spending his final years at Belmont Estate in Falmouth, Virginia where one may now tour his home and studio.
I’ve encountered several of Melchers’s works before and have found each of the works truly inspiring. After spending some quality time with The Communion, I feel very fortunate to have found yet another of his works that has provided a big dose of inspiration and I look forward to learning more about this artist and becoming familiar with much more of his work. I hope you encounter something today that inspires you!