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Painting at the End of the Ice Age

The Science of Climate Change from Pole to Pole in Forty Years of Paintings by David Rosenthal

About the Exhibition

November 3, 2023–March 30, 2024

Painting at the End of the Ice Age documents the effects of climate change within one lifetime. For this exhibition, Rosenthal worked with a group of scientists from around the world to create interpretive panels that accompany his paintings.

About the Artist

Rosenthal in hockey skates on frozen lake next to glacier, working in sketch bookOriginally from Maine, David Rosenthal began studying physics and ended up as an artist. After graduating from the University of Maine, Farmington, Rosenthal moved to Cordova, Alaska in 1977 to work in the fishing industry. This began a pattern of accepting jobs where he could live and work within interesting environments, which continues to this day.

Rosenthal has traveled throughout Alaska by working in the fishing industry and as a participant in the Alaska Artist in the Schools program. As part of the United States Coast Guard art program, Rosenthal traveled on the icebreaker Northwind into the Arctic Ocean and Polar ice cap in 1988, then traveled on the USCGC Polar Star icebreaker as they supported shipping and resupply for Thule Air Base in Greenland in 1989. Following the Greenland mission, Rosenthal was invited to continue on the Polar Star while it transited the Northwest Passage back to Alaska.

In 1989, Rosenthal began working for the United States Antarctic program. Over the next ten years he spent two Austral winters and five Austral summers working for the National Science Foundation contractor in Antarctica. Additionally he spent two Austral winters and a summer as a participant in the United States Antarctic Artist and Writers program.

In 2004, Rosenthal spent three months on the Greenland ice cap as a science technician. Rosenthal has also continued to travel to various locations in the higher latitudes while maintaining a home and studio in Cordova, Alaska.

Artist Talk

Artist's Statement

I have always had a love of nature. This led me to paint realistic landscapes that communicate the beauty I see in nature. I use drawings done in the field, memory and experience to create my paintings. The images are more real than photographs because they are what I actually see and experience.

My work has always been more about nature than about art. In this exhibit I have paintings from my over forty-five years as a painter observing glacial and post glacial landscapes in our warming world.

— David Rosenthal

Photo banner: Columbia Glacier and Mountains in Mist by David Rosenthal.

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