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GOINGS ON : Natural Features Evolve in Paintings : Exhibit includes landscape artists whose works covered the Eastern and Western United States from about 1830 to 1910.

August 12, 1993|LEO SMITH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Whether it's a river in the East or a mountain range in the West, landscape artists paint the elements of nature that interest them. And what interests landscape artists has changed greatly over time, as illustrated by the "American Wonders: Landscapes" exhibit opening Saturday at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

The oil paintings, etchings and one photograph, dating from about 1830 to 1910, show the evolution of what artists have considered America's most majestic natural features.

The artists represented in the exhibit fit into two groups, according to curator Bruce Robertson: those trained in the East from the 1830s to 1870s, and those who studied in the West from the 1870s to the turn of the century. The first group painted Eastern landscapes and the second Western.

Despite changes in subject matter and style, Robertson said the artists had a common goal.

"Although things change from pretty, comfortable, East Coast scenes to something as dramatic as a view of the desert of the Southwest, there is also a kind of continuity in that the artists are depicting what they think are natural wonders of the day," he said.

Robertson said the transition from painting of Eastern landscapes to Western landscapes coincided with a belief that the West was more grand.

"We had the waterfalls of the East," he said. "Then the Grand Canyon was discovered, Yellowstone was discovered, Yosemite was discovered, the desert was discovered, which made almost anything back East look small-scale."

The exhibit will be on display through Nov. 28. The museum, at 1130 State St., is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $3 adults, $2.50 seniors citizens and $1.50 children ages 6 to 16. For information, call 963-4364.

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Jeffrey Tate, principal conductor of the English Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, will lead the Music Academy of the West in its final Summer Festival concert Saturday at the Granada Theatre. The program will include Haydn's Symphony No. 104 and Elgar's Symphony No. 1. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. The theater is at 1216 State St. Tickets are $15. Call 966-2324.

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The Lobero Theatre's production of "Alone Together," co-starring Nancy Dussault and Nicholas Pryor, will conclude its run this week. Show times are today through Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $31.50. Call 963-0761. The Lobero is at 33 E. Canon Perdido St.

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Comedian Howie Mandel and his fictional child character, Bobby, will visit the Arlington Theatre on Monday evening in a presentation of "Bobby's World Live." The performance is based on the animated Fox Television series "Bobby's World." Show time is 7 p.m. Tickets are $11, $16 and $26. Call 963-4408. The theater is at 1317 State St.

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Tickets are on sale for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History's 12th annual Wine Festival, to be held Aug. 21. As in past years, some of Santa Barbara's top restaurants and wineries will bring their fare to the museum grounds. This year's tasting will feature a sampling of coffees from Santa Barbara's own California Coffee Co., and a variety of San Pellegrino designer waters. Only 800 tickets will be sold. General admission is $35. Call 682-4711, Ext. 308.

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