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Brad Collins & Stacey Millner-Collins

The River Bank

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About Brad & Stacey

Brad and Stacey Collins are long-time supporters and volunteers at the Columbia Museum of Art. Brad is a popular speaker at Museum events, he participates in multimedia tours and is well-loved by the docents and members who attend his lectures. Brad and Stacey are not only a huge asset to the CMA, but also to the community as a whole. "I don't believe you can have a first rate city without a first rate museum," Brad said, "and this is a first rate museum."

Brad Collins graduated from Amherst College in 1964 with a Bachelors degree in American Studies. After two years of graduate work at Washington University in St. Louis from 1967-1969, he transferred to Yale University where he received his Ph. D. in Art History in 1980. Since 1987 he has taught courses in modern art history and theory at the University of South Carolina. An expert on American post-war art, he has written extensively on Abstract Expressionism and Pop art. His book, Pop Art: The Independent Group to Neo Pop, 1952-1990, was published by Phaidon Press in 2012. Dr. Collins edited and contributed an essay to the catalogue published by Rizzoli in conjunction with the CMA's recent exhibition Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950.

Stacey Millner-Collins is the founder and director of City Yoga in Columbia, SC. She first came to yoga in 1994 as way to unite a dedicated physical discipline with a spiritual one. Having earned a degree in Art History, Stacey understood the universal experience of Beauty as Joy. For her this implies that when we experience something in life that inspires indescribable wonder, awe, delight-be that through art, music, nature, relationships, yoga-then "we are more connected (yoked) to this precious day, to each other, and to our vital essence: our Bliss." Stacey believes that "[a] yoga mat is a mirror of who we are-and yoga, like life, asks for devoted practice, a quest for integrity, and a healthy dose of self-reflection." For several years Stacey taught yoga in kindergarten rooms, ballet schools, gyms, and church basements until the community grew to such a point that she opened City Yoga in 2003.

About the Piece

  • Albert Fitch Bellows
  • The River Bank, 1861
  • Oil on canvas
  • Museum purchase with funds partially provided by Ethel S. Brody

The River Bank , a beautiful and significant oil painting by Albert Fitch Bellows, was purchased by the museum in 1997, becoming an important addition to the museum's holdings of 19th century landscape painting.

Bellows painted from childhood, and after a successful, but unfulfilling tenure in architectural design, he devoted his life to painting. He attended the New England School of Design until 1856, when he visited the first Paris Exposition and enrolled at the Royal Academy of Art in Antwerp. In 1857, he established himself in New York as a portrait and figure painter, becoming an associate member of the National Academy in 1859, where he may have been an early teacher of Winslow Homer.

Though titled The River Bank, the work more likely depicts a mill pond at Windsor, or some other location in Connecticut, which was a favorite locale for Bellows. The painting closely resembles an etching, produced by the artist around 1880 and published in the American Art Review, which now goes by at least two names. It is titled July Landscape in the San Francisco Museum of Art's online database and Mill Pond at Windsor in the Georgetown University Library Special Collections.