"Inside the Natural world of Jan Beekman"
The Lyman Allyn Art Museum New London CT USA 2014
The Natural World
“The central subject of my work is the natural world and its relationship to the human condition. Why are we here? What are we doing?”
Although Jan Beekman is best known for his monumental portrait, The Liberation of Nelson Mandela (1996), which hangs in the United nations headquarters in New York, the exhibition at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Connecticut, reveals another dimension of his art, a deep immersion in the natural phenomena of his immediate environment, the woodlands of Southeastern Connecticut. His paintings evoke a sense of wonder as viewers become absorbed in the subtle textures, graceful shapes, and vibrant colors of the natural world. Yet they also make us aware of the biodiversity and delicate balance of our natural ecology, raising questions about the mismanagement and pollution of our precious natural resources.
The Museum appreciates the generosity of its supporters: the Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, Bank of America, Trustee; People’s United Bank; Seward and Monde, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants; a special gift from Bernard and Nelly Murstein; and the Art History and Architectural Studies Department, Connecticut College. For their support, I thank the museum staff, especially D. Samuel Quigley, director, and Jane LeGrow, registrar and assistant curator. I am also grateful to Jan Beekman, Gillian Lane-Plescia, and Nelly Murstein for their indispensable assistance in planning the exhibition
This exhibition honors Nelly K. Murstein, Hanna Hafkesbrink Professor Emeritus of French at Connecticut College, for her long-time dedication to the Lyman Allyn Art Museum as a docent and member of the Board of Trustees.
–Barbara Zabel, guest curator