Chris Miller reviews Nature and Opulence: The Art of Martin Johnson Heade at the Milwaukee Art Museum, on view through February 26, 2017.
Miller writes: "Heade joined the mid-century enthusiasm for exploring biological and geological diversity. He traveled to South America to paint landscapes and exotic hummingbirds. His ornithological designs don’t reach the ornate intensity of work by John James Audubon and John Gould, which also appear in this exhibit. His floral paintings, however, more than equal the good examples by Joseph Henry Sharp and George Cochran Lambdin that hang beside them. While intensely naturalistic, they feel dramatic and even spiritual."