OPEN TODAY The Savage Poem Around Me: Alfred Lambourne’s Great Salt Lake


The Savage Poem Around me: Alfred Lambourne’s Great Salt Lake opens today, and is on view until June!

Alfred Lambourne walked the Mormon Trail in 1866, at age sixteen, to Salt Lake City, sketching during much of the route. By the 1880s he had become a well-known local artist who painted and traveled with Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt on their many visits to Salt Lake City. Of the varied landscapes he painted, nothing held his imagination so thoroughly as the Great Salt Lake. Captivated by it, he painted many views of Black Rock, the infinite and varied moods of the weather, and the shipwrecks and the drama of the lake. In 1887 he realized his dream of perfect solitude by homesteading Gunnison Island.

“Black Rock, Great Salt Lake” by Alfred Lambourne was selected by the UMFA docents as the recipient of their 2012 Docent Conservation Fund Award. This award allowed the painting to be shipped to and treated by the Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Arts (WCCFA). The need for treatment had been previously identified as part of an earlier docent conservation fund sponsored paintings survey, also completed by conservators from the WCCFA.

Black Rock

“Black Rock, Great Salt Lake” by Alfred Lambourne

At the WCCFA, a conservator cleaned both the obverse and reverse of the painting. Conservators also reduced distortions in the canvas through local humidification as well as keying out the stretcher to the proper tension (no keys were present prior to treatment). You can see the dramatic change for the better at “The Savage Poem Around Me: Alfred Lambourne’s Great Salt Lake,” which opens today–come in and see it in person!

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