Artist Trivia: Beverly Hallam

Beverly Hallam, Orange Prince, 1985, acrylic on linen, Gift of Beverly Hallam, 1991.48


This artist is best known for her immaculate, hyper-realistic flower paintings, startling for their monumental scale and their exacting realism. The subjects are often enlarged to the point of disbelief, creating a kind of perceptual confusion. She was among the first artists to begin working with acrylics while still in graduate school at Syracuse University in 1953, with her early body of work consisting of semi-abstract mixed media works.  Throughout her years of technical experimentation, nature, most often based on floral still lifes, was a constant theme.

ANSWER: Beverly Hallam

Beverly Hallam’s work, Orange Prince, is monumental in size, measuring six feet square. The orange prince flowers, blown up to the scale of an exotic, tropical species are actually small, wilted pansies combined with lily of the valley leaves arranged in four tiny bud vases on a mirrored pedestal. The mirror, although appearing to be a large glass table, actually sits on another larger-sized table. This kind of perceptual confusion lies at the heart of Hallam’s vision. Her shift in the early 1980s from painterly abstractions to more exacting representations sprang from a desire to explore what she called the “mysterious quality” in her work, a quality that she believed resided in shadows.

View more works by Hallam in the Farnsworth’s collection.

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