Test your knowledge with a quiz
Church, The Iceberg
- Frederick Church painted epic landscapes, traveling through the American West, South America, and the Arctic to sketch locations. Back in his studio, he would combine these sketches to create composite views that blended specific detail and idealized vistas.
- Church was inspired by Alexander von Humboldt, a naturalist who had traveled through South America and written extensively about his experience. This painting was also created during a time of growing awareness about the impact of industrialization on the natural world and the beginnings of conservationist efforts.
Learn more about Frederick Church and his blockbuster landscapes
Read about Church’s expedition to the Arctic in an account written by his travel companion, Louis Legrand Noble
Read an exhibition catalogue devoted to Church’s iceberg paintings
Learn more about Alexander von Humboldt and his exploration of the Americas
View the online version of the exhibition, Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture
Travel writing by Alexander von Humboldt at Project Gutenberg
“The pioneering maps of Alexander von Humboldt” at Smithsonian Magazine
More to think about
The video connects Frederic Church’s The Iceberg to contemporary environmental concerns. If you were creating a campaign to discuss climate change, do you think Church’s painting would be an effective image to use? Do you think this painting would be more, or less, effective than a photograph?