Mathias J. Alten: Online Digital Library

The German-born American Impressionist Mathias Joseph Alten, often referred to as the Dean of Michigan painters, is regarded as one of the most celebrated regionalist artists to have worked in the United States.

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Alten created more than 3,000 works of art during his prolific career including landscapes, seascapes, portraits, florals, and still-lifes. Working in a traditional representational style, Alten incorporated the aesthetics and techniques of the Impressionist Movement into paintings infused with light and punctuated with deft brushwork. Here, you can learn about Alten's life and his work that is part of Grand Valley State University's permanent collection, the largest known public Alten collection of its kind in the world.

Mathias J. Alten Monograph book


Mathias J. Alten: An Evolving Legacy

This publication spotlights the life and artistic works of Mathias J. Alten, who called the city of Grand Rapids his home for much of his career. The book includes color illustrations and scholarly essays exploring Alten's artistic legacy. A native of Germany, Alten immigrated to Grand Rapids as a teenager. Often referred to as the "Dean of Michigan Painters," Alten spent his career painting in Europe and across the U.S., but always returned to Grand Rapids, his professional base of operations and home until his death in 1938.

Please Join Us

We invite you to join the GVSU Friends of Mathias J. Alten to celebrate the legacy of the remarkable artist, Mathias J. Alten. The Grand Valley State University Friends of Alten is an organization established to support the exhibition, acquisition, and care of the paintings at the George and Barbara Gordon Gallery. The Friends work to increase the awareness of Alten as a significant American Impressionist painter, and raise funds to support both the gallery and its mission. Gilded Frame members will receive “Mathias J. Alten, An Evolving Legacy” complimentary as our gift to you.”

Learn More

Paint Brush $99 and under
Palette $100 – $200
Canvas $200 - $499
Gilded Frame $500 and above