Grant Drumheller: In the Garden

On view January 26 - April 1, 2023

  • a painted portrait of a man's head and upper torso in bright orange and olive green

    Rick Fox, A Good Night's Sleep, Detail, 2022, 14x11in, oil on canvas

    lEARN mORE


Grant Drumheller: In the Garden, is a selection of contemporary paintings from the artist never before exhibited as a collection. The exhibition will feature intimate views of Grant Drumheller’s family that are both familiar and removed. Observation is at the center of Drumheller’s work as a figurative painter; he is well-known for works of large-scale compositions of busy streets, beaches, and Italian town squares and palazzos. For works In the Garden, we find the artist’s honed observational eye turned inward to capture the vitality and ever-changing dynamic of a family. In this case, the family is his own, and the viewer is welcomed into a series of vignettes captured by the artist in vibrant color and bold brush strokes. Drumheller invites us to the movement of aquamarine lake waters as swimmers work to stay afloat, to serene, calm evenings in living rooms bathed in golden light, and to breakfast on the deck amongst the lushness of a summer garden. The viewer is welcomed like an old friend at the table—at once comfortable and known—as if taking a sip of morning coffee just out of frame.

Commenting on his process in the creation of the piece Karina at the Window (2008), which features the artist's wife, Drumheller remarks:


"Karina is pausing at a window in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Florence, Italy, where the garden courtyard is installed with rebuilt Etruscan tombs…I recall following Karina around the darkened museum, as a guard preceded us, room by room to turn on lights and then, turn off the lights as we left. It felt like I was behind a stranger and could track her perceptions of each place and object anew. How remarkable and mysterious it felt that, after so many years, I could find myself as if I were a stranger in her presence."

Iza's First Year

The artist created this sketchbook to celebrate the birth of his grandchild, Iza. On exhibit in In the Garden

Learn More About Grant Drumheller's Teaching and Studio Practice

Grant Drumheller joined the Department of Art and Art History in 1986 and was instrumental in teaching generations of students how to draw and paint. Prior to his retirement in 2019, he was the last studio faculty member at UNH with first-hand knowledge of Boston Expressionism, a regional movement based on a keenly expressed humanistic tradition of figurative narrative painting, an approach that underpinned the Department for decades.



Would you like to bring your class to explore In the Garden? Contact Education and Outreach Manager Molly Bolick to discuss experiential learning opportunities that can support your curriculum.


All exhibitions are supported by Friends of the Museum of Art. 



Image credit: Grant Drumheller, Morning on the Deck, 2022, acrylic and Flashe on linen, 60 x 72 inches