For more than forty years, painter John Baeder’s passionate interest in diners has led him to become the preeminent chronicler of this uniquely American form of roadside architecture. Critics have commented on his technical virtuosity, but he is a virtuoso with a purpose – creating a record of the architecture that surrounds the homely dining experience. This role as an historic preservationist sets him apart from his peers and identifies him as unique among contemporary realists.
As New York Times art critic John Russell noted, “John lives, dreams, and paints diners. He loves diners, and it shows.” It’s not just the buildings themselves that he records with such care. It’s the experience of these places that’s of ultimate importance to him – the food, the stories, and the people. His greatest achievement lies not in what he records but in what he inspires: he doesn’t just lead us to warm memories of better times, he evokes better tastes and smells as well. This isn’t hyper-realism. This is magic.
“Baeder: Pleasant Journeys and Good Eats Along the Way” captures that magic and places John’s work firmly in the forefront of American painting today.
– Kevin Grogan
Director, Morris Museum of Art
This DVD includes the 29 minute film “Baeder: Pleasant Journeys and Good Eats Along the Way” that was created in association with the Morris Museum of Art exhibit of the same name. Also included is a photo portfolio of 275 images tracing all the stages of Baeder’s work, from the earliest postcard paintings to his more recent roadside images, as well as several photos of the artist.