D&R Greenway Exhibits Family Legacy of Art
EXHIBIT HONORS GALLERY NAMESAKE: D&R Greenway Land Trust presents the artwork of three generations of Kuennes, the family that donated the funds to establish the Olivia Rainbow Gallery when the Johnson Education Center opened its doors as headquarters for D&R Greenway in 2006. The exhibit, on view through January 15, 2016, includes the image seen above, “Lake Champlain” by Peter William and Matthew Kuenne.
D&R Greenway Land Trust presents the artwork of three generations of Kuennes, the family who donated the funds to establish the Olivia Rainbow Gallery when the Johnson Education Center opened its doors as headquarters for D&R Greenway in 2006. The gallery is named in memory of the family’s gifted young daughter, Olivia Kuenne. The exhibit, on view through January 15, 2016, includes art by Olivia’s grandfather, noted painter Peter Vought; her mother, Leslie Kuenne, of Princeton; and Olivia’s brothers, Peter, William and Matthew Kuenne. The family has won prizes, awards, and had gallery displays in many media. Gallery hours are business days through January 15. Free and open to the public at One Preservation Place, Princeton.
Nature and art were paramount to young Olivia. As a student at Princeton Junior School, Olivia painted rainbows, caterpillars, birds, and a frog standing on his head. On one of her landscapes she wrote “I am thankful for the whole world!”
Olivia’s grandfather, the late Peter Vought, was internationally renowned, from earliest days as watercolorist and portrait artist, through abstract acrylics of American landscapes. Perspectives in these large-scale works were inspired by the artist’s decades as a pilot, beginning in the U.S. Navy. Late in life, Vought would compensate for vision challenges by becoming a sculptor.
Known as “Grandpeter” by Peter, William, and Matthew, Vought was considered a Renaissance man: intellect, pilot, an avid chess player, and athlete. A graduate of Deerfield and Yale, Vought relinquished law school for the paintbrush. His family talks about his hearty laughter, grace on the dance floor, infectious sense of humor and storytelling. He had the “ability to see the humor in the world, and make us all laugh,” Kuenne recounts.
The work of Vought’s three grandsons, Peter, 21, a junior at Princeton University; William, 16, a junior at the Lawrenceville School; and Matthew, 15, a freshman at Princeton Day School; range from landscape photography and abstract landscape paintings to sculpture. “They have inherited [my father’s] curiosity and talent, both for fixing things and for creating sculpture out of found objects,” says Kuenne. “Their best was created with ‘Grandpeter’ and it is still in his garden.”
William’s monotypes earned honorable mention in the Northern N.J. Regional Scholastics Art and Writing Awards through the Montclair Art Museum. Matthew is a professional actor at Princeton’s McCarter Theatre and George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick.
For more information, visit www.drgreenway.org.