11/06/2014 02:00 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Waning Light of Autumn in Art

Autumn can be an intense time. There is an instinct to gather food and firewood and reading material and hunker down for the long winter ahead...but at the same time there is much beauty yet to explore. The leaves have turned and fallen, altering and opening our views; the shortened days give a whole new experience of the light that's left. Here are some images from the Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society that capture that fall feeling.


This rural scene was painted in oil by John Banvard, circa 1870. Banvard was famous for large panorama paintings of the Mississippi River Valley, which he started in the 1840; his largest was about half a mile long.


This quilt is called Autumn Glow; it is a sampler using several methods including screen printing, sun printing, and hand dyed cotton fabrics by Diane Bartels. It was designed, pieced, and quilted by Susan Stein, 2002.


John Lucius created this watercolor called Harvest Season in 1953. It won an Honorable Mention in Fine Arts Folk Art at the Minnesota State Fair in 1957.


No contemplation of fall is complete without a nod to raking leaves. Noted photographer Monroe Killy is seen here raking leaves in his backyard in Minneapolis in 1937.


Lastly is an oil painting by Nicholas Brewer, called Autumn Landscape, done circa 1900. More than the others it hints at the bleakness that lies ahead, yet there is still quiet beauty in it.

For more autumn related artwork, visit the Minnesota Historical Society's Collections Online.