At Connecticut’s Weir Farm, the unique artistic bison display is a centennial project commemorating 2016 as the 100th birthday celebration year for the National Park system and all 420 parks. Life-size bison cutouts were paired with historic paintings.
“We started the project by using a life-sized bison pattern to cut out the animal in four sections from a special plywood board. We then sent the bison, in pieces, to a company that was able to use a special adhesive to implant the artwork on the bison. When the bison, now covered with artwork were returned, we painted the backs and then placed them in the ground through a system involving two steel pipes,” Volunteer Ben Shaw said.
Julian Alden Weir, a leading figure in American art and the development of American Impressionism, acquired the then 253-acre farm in 1882 where he was joined by such famous contemporaries as Childe Hassam, John Twachtman and Albert Pinkham Ryder — to paint the landscape en plein air and experiment with light and color to create American masterpieces. After Weir, the artistic legacy was continued by his daughter, painter Dorothy Weir Young and her husband, sculptor Mahonri Young, followed by New England painters Sperry and Doris Andrews, who were there until 2005.