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LETTER: At Culpeper museum, artist's landscapes transport a viewer
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LETTER: At Culpeper museum, artist's landscapes transport a viewer

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When you enter the Museum of Culpeper History, you may be expecting to see historical exhibits about Culpeper history, and then walk past its display of six landscapes by local artist Elisabeth Piatt. They are hung on an interior wall along a corridor, opposite doors leading outside to the old depot’s railroad platform.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to spend time absorbing the experience they offer.

I stood across the corridor, with my back against the outside door, marveling at the depth and subtlety depicted in these works, which portray aspects of the local landscape through different seasons.

At first, I experienced some annoyance that they were not given a more prominent space. But as I took in their depth and scenery, this ceased to matter.

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Led by this artist’s loving hand, each painting invited me in for a long walk deep into a seasonal scene. The softness and subtlety of the artist’s strokes compressed the experience of time spent breathing fresh air and traveling a distance.

This magic happens without looking through a window or being on site, making the word “landscape” feel like Earth beneath your feet. Don’t miss it.

Also take note of the dramatic wall panels inside the museum’s hallway entrance by Madison artist Trish Crowe, topped by a famous quote from Walt Whitman.

Bonnie Dixon


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