Playing Favorites: Emily Uphoff & Clyde Butcher

We’ve asked FWMoA staff the hardest question you can ask art museum people: so, what is your favorite artwork currently on display? As “art museum people”, we often get asked about our favorite artists, artworks, and the art we choose to hang on our own walls. Since not all of our staff are front-end, and not all of them write for the blog, this series gives everyone a chance to get to know them, too. Taking advantage of our rotating exhibitions of artworks, from painted portraits to sculpted bronzes, FWMoA staff from all departments are choosing artworks that enthrall and enchant them; or, in other words, playing favorites.

A photograph of the author smiling at the camera.
Emily Uphoff, Events Coordinator at FMWoA. Photo courtesy of FWMoA.

Emily Uphoff has coordinated events, large and small, at FWMoA for the past five years. Her current favorite? A black-and-white photograph by Clyde Butcher, on display in his solo exhibition America the Beautiful: Photographs by Clyde Butcher.

A black-and-white photograph of the forest in Redwood National Park, California. It shows light filtering through dense trees and, in the foreground, a fallen log is covered by lichen and moss.
Clyde Butcher, American, b. 1942. Pepperwood #1, Redwood National Park, CA. Silver gelatin print, 1996. Loan from Venice Gallery and Studio. Image courtesy of Clyde Butcher.

Q: What is the first thing you noticed about this artwork? What drew you to this particular piece?

A: The layers. There are so many trees and shrubs of varying heights and density all trying to eek out a little sunlight. It seems like a very muted place– all the sounds having to go through a filter of trees, leaves, mist, and moss.

Q: Would you hang this artwork in your home? Why or why not?

A: Absolutely!

Q: What does this artwork mean to you?

A: Calmness.

Q: Any other comments about this artwork?

A: Butcher has been working to showcase the beauty all around us in the United States. Our entire existence depends on our harmony with nature. This collection of photographs displays all the varying locations and vastly different landscapes that we must work to protect.

All of these photos make me want to travel! To see what he sees. Maybe not at 4am like he does, but still to see it all.

Q: Why did you choose to work in an art museum?

A: Planning parties surrounded by art… what better combo is there?

Q: What has been your favorite exhibition at FWMoA during your employment?

A: My favorite exhibition was Wonderland: Photographs by Kirsty Mitchell.

Looking for something to do over the long holiday weekend? Come visit FWMoA to see more of America through the lens of Clyde Butcher! His photographs are on view through January 30th, 2021.

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