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Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery is pleased to present a sweeping exhibition of paintings by the great American Luminist Lockwood de Forest (NA 1850-1932). In Search of the Source: Paintings of the Nile and Beyond by Lockwood de Forest takes us on a journey through time and space. Join us as we head through Egypt in 1875 by way of the Nile. Lockwood de Forest arrived in Alexandria on December 16, 1875 at the age of 25 with his family and their friends, the Roosevelts. De Forest wrote several letters to Walter Launt Palmer chronicling details of his journey up the Nile and across the Middle East, which has provided great insight to his life and work from this time. He was noted saying, “Everything you see is a perfect picture--you can’t look out your window without seeing four or five things that you want to make studies of.” 

In de Forest’s lifetime, a journey up the Nile became wildly popular amongst the upper class in America and Europe. People traveled from all over the world to escape the harsh winters in their own countries and found solace in the warm, temperate climate of Egypt. The de Forests were an affluent family and as such they traveled in style on a large boat called the Memphis. At each stop, de Forest took a moment to write down his initial thoughts, mostly commenting on the quality of light or worthiness of subject for a potential painting. He spent all day on the deck painting the glowing horizons as he and his family floated slowly up the Nile. At night he watched the moonlight reflect on the water and became captivated by the play of light in the night sky--a subject that he would pursue for the remainder of his prolific career.

To help celebrate the opening of the exhibition, the gallery has prepared a book to accompany the show. Dr. Brian Fagan, best selling author of over 72 books, including Egypt of the Pharaohs and The Rape of the Nile, has prepared an informative text that will accompany de Forest’s Nile and Middle Eastern works. 

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