Capturing Utah’s Landscapes
Clouds Over Bear Lake depicts a peaceful scene familiar to many Utahns. The green rolling hills, the calm blue water, and the scattered trees take us to a day in the artist’s life.
The artist of this oil painting is Reuben Reynolds.
Reynolds was born in Ohio in 1898 and attended the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating in 1923, and going on to teach at Utah State University, then known as the Agricultural College of Utah. He worked there for over 45 years teaching a range of art classes, from photography to jewelry to painting.
Earlier in his career Reynolds focused on painting, however in 1930 he became interested in photography and went on to earn a reputation as a photographer.
Many of his striking images are part of Utah State University’s Special Collections and Archives, and they can be seen online in the Harry Reuben Reynolds Photograph Collection. His photographs include images of the Utah State University campus, as well as well known Utah locations, including Park City, Salt Lake City and Southern Utah, and the nearby states of Arizona and California.
Throughout his life, Reynolds focused on promoting the arts in Utah, and was involved in local events, including the Utah State Fair and the “Days of ’47.”
Clouds Over Bear Lake was entered in the Utah State Fair in 1936 and was one of three paintings that earned the purchase award. Since then it has been part of the Alice Merrill Horne Art Collection, which, since it’s beginning in 1899, has been acquiring work of Utah artists. As part of the care of the work, the Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Arts in Denver, Colorado cleaned and restored it in 2007.
Reynolds’ work in Utah has left a lasting impact and his pieces continue to be treasured.
This oil painting is cared for by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums, along with a variety of other pieces from Utah artists that each tell their own unique story. You can pledge to protect these artworks here: http://utahartifactsandart.org/pledge/