The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts purchased American artist Frederic Edwin Church’s masterful oil painting, Valley of Santa Isabel, New Granada, 1875, that was deaccessioned from the Berkshire Museum.

Church is arguably one of the artists most integral to the history of American art and this will be the first work by Church to enter the museum’s permanent collection.

“PAFA is thrilled that this important American artwork will allow us to tell the sweeping story of American art,” said Brooke Davis Anderson, Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum.

Frederic Edwin Church was an American landscape painter born in Hartford, CT. He was a central figure in the Hudson River School of American landscape painters, perhaps best known for painting large panoramic landscapes, often depicting mountains, waterfalls and sunsets, and dramatic natural phenomena that he saw during his travels to the Arctic and Central and South America.

Church exhibited at PAFA multiple times from 1851 to 1867.

In 1860, PAFA exhibited Church’s painting The Heart of the Andes, which is now part of the collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In 1862 his Landscape in South America showed at PAFA. Valley of Santa Isabel, New Granada, will make an ideal companion to the similarly large scaled painting by David Johnson, The Hudson River from Fort Montgomery, 1870, which PAFA purchased in 2016.

Kevin Donohoe, chairman of PAFA’s Board of Trustees, remarked of the purchase, “As the nation’s first art museum, PAFA is proud to add a work of this importance to the collection. The board and I are enthusiastic about this exceptional addition to our world-class collection of American art.”