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collections > permanent collection > paintings >FREDERICK ALAN COUNSEL
Frederick Alan Counsel
(American, 1910 or 1913-1978)
Blue Hills, Pennsylvania, 1936
Watercolor on paper, 22" x 30"
Gift of Judith Counsel Vipond (91.022)


Infused with a mild modernism reminiscent of the French Fauves, Frederick Counsel’s Blue Hills, Pennsylvania, recalls similar works by contemporaries such as Charles Burchfield and William Zorach.  Through the use of exaggerated forms and color, the artist invests the Pennsylvania countryside with a lyrical quality that reflects strong feeling for his own native land.  When Blue Hills was painted in 1936, regional art and American Scene painting were enjoying great popularity among critics and the public alike.  Counsel’s large watercolors strike a fine balance between documentary image and emotional expression, and as such, they were well received. 


Counsel was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, in 1910.  He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Parsons School of Design in New York.  Although he worked primarily in the Altoona area, he occasionally made trips further afield, as attested to by the Museum’s Kennebunk Church, Maine.  His work was exhibited in both New York and Washington, D.C., and received a number of awards.