Page 1

American Impressionism The Lure of the Artists’ Colony


This catalog was published in conjunction with the exhibition American Impressionism: The Lure of the Artists’ Colony held at the Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania from September 24, 2011 – January 29, 2012. The exhibition and catalog are supported in part by generous contributions from the Marlin and Ginger Miller Exhibition Endowment Fund.

READING PUBLIC MUSEUM 500 Museum Road Reading, Pennsylvania, 19611-1425 610-371-5850 www.readingpublicmuseum.org © 2013 Reading Public Museum All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without permission of the publisher.

On the cover: Charles Webster Hawthorne

A Study in White, c. 1900 oil on canvas 36 x 22 inches


American Impressionism The Lure of the Artists’ Colony


Table of Contents

Full artwork shown on page 20.

Introduction

p. 04

Americans Abroad New York Impressionists Philadelphia Impressionists New Hope, Bucks County Colony Cos Cob Colony Old Lyme Colony Massachusetts Art Colonies

p. 10 p. 12 p. 16 p. 18 p. 24 p. 26 p. 30

Exhibition Checklist

p. 36


Introduction The Reading Public Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania is home to a little known treasure trove of works by American Impressionists featured in the current exhibition American Impressionism: The Lure of the Artists’ Colony. This comprehensive gathering sheds light, for the first time, on this great strength of the collection. The Museum began collecting paintings, sculptures and works on paper in 1913, nine years after its founder, Levi W. Mengel (1868 – 1941), made purchases of some two thousand ethnographic objects and natural history specimens from the St. Louis World’s Fair. The generosity of the Museum’s early donors, wise purchases directly from artists, and acquisitions from the annual exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, built the fine art collection with an emphasis on American painting. Indeed, the Academy and its cadre of talented students and faculty loom large in the formation of Reading’s collection of fine art between the 1910s and the 1930s.

Full artwork shown on page 9.

Lyrical landscapes, ranging from snow-covered hills to sun-filled harbors and seascapes, penetrating portraits, and remarkable still life paintings document an important moment in the history of American art. The exhibition features more than one hundred total works, including more than eighty oil paintings and 30 works on paper dating from the golden age of American Impressionism, the 1880s through the 1940s. A wide range of early twentieth-century approaches to Impressionism, including an abiding interest in capturing the effects of light and atmosphere in loosely brushed compositions, is explored. The story of American Impressionism is told, at least in part, by the popular artists’ colonies that emerged at the end of the nineteenth century and served as destinations for painters from a variety of locations, beginning first in the northeast, not far from cities like New York, Philadelphia and Boston. From the east to the west


coast, artists assembled together to escape the rigors of their city studios, share and exchange ideas through camaraderie, take on students, exhibit together and to attract new clientele. Some colonies were grounded by boarding houses where artists gathered to discuss their work, others centered around individual artists who took on mentoring roles within the colonies. Perhaps the biggest luxury that artists’ colonies afforded painters was the benefit of being able to focus, first and foremost, on his or her craft without interruption. The exhibition is arranged according to the colonies that played a critical role in the development of American Impressionism around the turn of the century. The colonies at Cos Cob and Old Lyme in Connecticut; Cape Cod, Cape Ann, and Rockport, in Massachusetts; Philadelphia and New Hope in Pennsylvania; Taos, New Mexico; and California are examined. Within each of these colonies, artists were able to teach, collaborate, and experiment with their work.

In addition to the artists’ colonies, the exhibition features works by expatriate artists such as John Singer Sargent and Mary Cassatt, who spent the majority of their careers in Europe, embracing the latest styles and movements and exhibiting with their colleagues abroad. Man Reading by Sargent is one of his spontaneous, informal portraits that was executed around the time when the artist visited a resort in the Alps, probably between 1904 and 1908. It depicts Nicola d’Inverno, the artist’s manservant, captured in a quiet moment of solitude. While the sitter’s face is cast in shadow, golden light brilliantly defines his forearm and illuminates the edges of the book’s loosely rendered pages. Back in the United States, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia served as the center of American Impressionism. Scores of painters were drawn to the Academy’s curriculum which included new techniques and subject matter influenced

Paulette Van Roekens

Towers in the Mist, 1925 oil on canvas 40 x 29 3/4 inches

by the European avant-garde. Prominent instructors including Thomas Anshutz, Cecilia Beaux, Robert Vonnoh, William Merritt Chase, J. Alden Weir, Hugh Breckenridge, Daniel Garber, and Edward Redfield, among others, taught a generation of artists the tenets of impressionism: human figure drawing, portraiture, and landscape, including summer courses on plein air techniques.

Three works by William Merritt Chase, renowned painter and teacher, entered the collection in the 1930s. The still life, My Palette, depicts the tools of the trade: a pouncing bag, brushes, palette and tubes of paint. One of Chase’s original palettes, a gift of artist William Ferguson, who received it from Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer, a former student of Chase, entered the collection in the early 1960s.

5


George William Sotter

Hill Road, c. 1920 oil on canvas 22 x 26 inches

Joseph Thurman Pearson, Jr.

The Closed Shutter, 1915 oil on canvas 28 x 26 inches

6

Vermont-born Richard Blossom Farley studied at the Pennsylvania Academy with William Merritt Chase and Cecilia Beaux. In France, he trained with James Abbott McNeill Whistler whose influence is deeply felt in Passing Cloud, a beach scene probably of the New Jersey shore. When he returned to America, the artist lived in Philadelphia and later moved to Bucks County, settling in New Hope in 1924. He specialized in portraits, such as Blue and Gold situated within opulent interiors. This painting demonstrates the artist’s skills at conveying rich textures: the elaborate pattern on the wall covering, the ornate upholstery on the settee, and luminous fabric of the sitter’s dress. Canadian-born George A. Reid studied at the Pennsylvania Academy in the early 1880s with his mentor Thomas Eakins. His Portrait of Mrs. Reid depicts his wife, Pennsylvania born painter Mary Heister Reid, a closed fan in hand, turning away from the viewer’s gaze. Her creamy white garment is contrasted against the dark pines in the background. The diaphanous lace

around her bodice and cuffs catches the light filtered through the trees. Touches of blue on the sash around her waist and the ribbon around her neck enrich the composition. Other Academy standouts in the exhibition include Hugh Breckenridge and William Morris Young. Given the close geographical proximity; one should not be surprised to find an abundance of fine works by artists of the New Hope school in Bucks County. Paintings by William Langson Lathrop, Edward Redfield, the founders of the New Hope artists’ colony, and those by Daniel Garber, who settled in the hamlet along the Delaware River early in the twentieth century, are among the highlights. Charles Rosen, Robert Spencer, John Folinsbee, George William Sotter, Fern Isabel Coppedge, Antonio Pietro Martino, Walter Schofield, Walter Emerson Baum, among others, entered the Museum’s collection mostly in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Goat Hill, a large canvas by Garber, is an outstanding example of the artist’s approach to landscape painting. The


late afternoon light, refined brushwork, and subject matter—a view across the Delaware River—add up to an archetypal work. Equally exemplary is Redfield’s Winter in the Valley, painted circa 1920s, with a decidedly low point of view overlooking the snowy hills of rural Pennsylvania. The large canvas was likely painted out of doors in the crisp winter weather, possibly completed in one day, as was Redfield’s practice. Equally effective is the rich color palette of Fern Coppedge’s The Delaware in Winter. The artist was distinguished from the rest of the Pennsylvania Impressionists by her unusual, sometimes arbitrary, use of bold, unmixed paints. Folinsbee’s

atmospheric Winter Nocturne is one of the few night scenes included in the exhibition. An alluring work by Arthur Watson Sparks, who was born in Washington, DC, of the Quai St. Catherine, Martigues depicts the scenic harbor in southern France where the artist operated a studio between 1900 and 1904. After a career teaching art in Pittsburgh, Sparks painted in New Hope with Edward Redfield in 1919, the same year he exhibited the painting at the annual exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy. The artist masterfully conveys the brilliance of afternoon light striking the façades of the historic buildings

Henry Ward Ranger

On Long Island Sound, 1912

and their remarkable reflections in the harbor in the foreground. The collection houses a number of works by artists associated with the Connecticut colonies of Cos Cob and Old Lyme. J. Alden Weir and John Henry Twachtman were among the earliest artists to arrive and stay at Holley House, the boarding house that became a gathering place for artists beginning in the late 1870s. Twachtman’s Coast Scene, with its somber palette was painted in New York, shortly after the artist visited Cos Cob for the first time. In it, the artist’s gift for evoking atmosphere and mood is evident. Other important artists associated with the colony include Ernest Lawson, whose moody High Bridge — Winter, depicts the bridge modeled on Roman aqueducts that crosses the Harlem River at Manhattan’s northern tip and demonstrates the artist’s technique of building up layers of paint. Other key Cos Cob colony artists represented include Leonard Ochtman and Soren Emil Carlsen. The Reading Public Museum possesses no less than three large canvases by

Chauncey Foster Ryder and two by Henry Ward Ranger, the founder of the Old Lyme colony, situated farther up the coast from Cos Cob. This newly formed colony was centered at Florence Griswold’s home, where artists worked, socialized and exhibited their work. While Ryder’s animated brushwork and thick impasto layers that he employs in Early April clearly align the work with the technical currents of American Impressionism, the muted palette, lush atmospheric effects, simplified forms, and pale luminosity, argue in favor of a tonalist approach. The artist was one of many of his era who vacillated between Impressionism and Tonalism. A contemporary critic observed that, “Ryder paints with a freedom and a facility which is not deterred by quibbling details. He is always lyrical and poetic in his approach, and often achieved a certain luminous quality … transforming a whole scene into something of other-worldly loveliness.” 1 Over the decades that the colony thrived, hundreds of artists including Childe Hassam and Guy Wiggins, among others, participated in the communal experience of Old Lyme.

oil on board 12 x 16 inches

John Sharman

Interior, c. 1914 oil on canvas 30 x 26 inches

Florence Davies, Detroit News, quoted in Chauncey F. Ryder, N.A., 1868 – 1949 (Hingham, MA: Pierce Galleries , 1976), 3.

1

Introduction 7


Hassam’s Beach at East Hampton depicts the terrain, sea and cloud filled sky of one of the artist’s favorite subjects: the landscape of Long Island. The painting was described in a 1929 catalog as picturing, “undulating sand dunes with patches of gorse and shrubbery, the blue sea beyond contrasted against the summer sky with tinted ivory cumulus cloud forms.” 2 The Hassams purchased a property at East Hampton and by 1919 had made it their permanent summer residence. The artist converted the barn into a studio and continued to paint there into the 1930s. Wiggins’ Gloucester at Twilight was completed one year after

8

the family settled in Connecticut. Painted in a monochromatic palette dominated by violets and blues, evocative of dusk, the work records the energy of the bustling harbor with thick impasto and visible brushstrokes which enliven the composition. Massachusetts, too, was home to rich art colonies at Rockport, Cape Ann and at Provincetown, where Charles Webster Hawthorne was among the earliest art teachers to arrive at the end of the nineteenth century. Hawthorne’s alluring Study in White depicts a young woman in a white dress seated on

Eanger Irving Couse

William Merritt Chase

Indian Hunter, c. 1920s

Girl with Doll, c. 1905 – 1915

oil on canvas 22 x 18 inches

oil on canvas 17 1/4 x 14 inches

a hill, presumably under a tree, and demonstrates the general principles of American Impressionism around the turn of the century. The painting enlists the fleeting impression of sharp contrast of light and the deep, rich colors of a summer day, with bold, visible brushstrokes in a lightened color palette. The work is dedicated to Hawthorne’s teacher and professional mentor, William Merritt Chase. It bears the inscription: “To My Master Wm. M. Chase.” Hawthorne had enrolled in Chase’s summer school at Shinnecock Hills, Long Island in 1896. There, he served as chief assistant to Chase. Several years later, Hawthorne established his own summer school, the Cape Cod School of Art, which attracted plein air painters to Provincetown for the next three decades. Hawthorne was quickly followed by other artists who were attracted to the region because of its quaintness, natural beauty and proximity to Boston. By 1915 there were no less than five summer schools active in Provincetown including Hawthorne’s and E. Ambrose Webster’s Summer School of Painting.3

William Paxton and Frank W. Benson led the group of Boston-based Impressionists. Paxton’s early reputation rested with his remarkable portraits of elegant, sometimes exotic women, set in opulent interiors of which Girl with Hand Mirror is an outstanding example. Exhibited at the 1917 annual exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy, the painting explores the exotic through the young girl’s silk kimono and the

American Art Association (auction no. 3790) at the Anderson Art Galleries in New York, November 15, 1929, Lot 68. Provincetown Art Association and Museum: The Permanent Collection, (Provincetown, MA: Provincetown Art Association, 1999), 11.

2

3

Frederick Mulhaupt began to summer in Gloucester as early as 1907, and by 1917 exhibited his work at the summer exhibitions there and was instrumental in founding the art association. February’s Sun, probably depicting a winter landscape in the environs near Gloucester, captures the luminous crisp afternoon sun on the banks of a creek and is typical of Mulhaupt’s winter scenes. Notably, the painting was purchased from the annual exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and donated to the Museum by three of its most important early philanthropists: Ferdinand K. Thun, Henry K. Janssen and Gustav Oberlaender.


painted Japanese screen behind her. Rich hues of peach, salmon and coral echo the artist’s delicate rendering of the model’s flesh. The artist’s work was characterized, above all, by his exploration of color, texture and light. On Grand River by Benson depicts a lone boatman navigating by way of punting across shallow, sun dappled waters with the aid of a pole. The water is activated with energetic, impressionistic brushwork. The artist once claimed, “I simply follow the light, where it comes from, where it goes to.” 4 The Museum collection even includes works by members of the Taos, New Mexico colony, which was noted for its stunning natural beauty, culturally significant Pueblo, and pleasant climate. Founders of the colony including Eanger Irving Couse and Walter Ufer, whose figural paintings of North American Indians, capture the rich cultural history of the American West.

hotels and spectacular views. The lush Lotus Pool, El Encanto, Santa Barbara, is one of several works Cooper completed of the resort’s pool and pergola. From coast to coast, America’s rich artists’ colonies continued to draw well known artists and teachers as well as students and those seeking instruction during the summer months. By the 1920s, strains of European modernism began to enter the American art scene and painting outdoors in these charming, picturesque locales began to experience a decline. The permanent collection at the Reading Public Museum has preserved the enduring legacy of American Impressionism, shedding light on the influences of these rich artistic communities and, in the process, helping to tell the multifaceted story of Impressionism in the United States.

Collin Campbell Cooper

The Lotus Pool, El Encanto, Santa Barbara, c. 1921 – 1922 oil on canvas 36 x 29 inches

— Scott A. Schweigert, Curator of Art & Civilization

By the 1920s Colin Campbell Cooper was drawn to Santa Barbara, California with its lush gardens, major resort

4

 rank W. Benson: The Impressionist Years, essays by John Wilmerding, Sheila Dugan, and William H. Gerdts, F (New York: Spanierman Gallery, 1988), 15.

Introduction 9


Americans Abroad

Stateside, more and more artists were absorbing the influences of French Impressionism and began to experiment with some of its stylistic elements. American Impressionists began exhibiting in major cities in the U.S. as the public began to embrace the new style.

Study in Europe for American artists in the last quarter of the nineteenth century was still a required path to success. Many Americans enrolled in Paris’ academies, including the Académie Julian, or took classes with French academic painters such as Jean-Léon Gérôme. Some artists, like Pennsylvania-born Mary Cassatt, who moved to Paris in 1874, were attracted to the new French style known as Impressionism. Cassatt’s talents brought her to the attention of Edgar Degas, who invited the American to exhibit with the group in the late 1870s. John Singer Sargent, who was born in Florence to expatriate American parents, studied art in Paris, and by 1874 had met Claude Monet and other

French Impressionists. Sargent began to experiment with the new style and created portraits—both formal and informal, cityscapes and landscape studies employing the characteristic loose brushwork of impressionism. Stateside, more and more artists were absorbing the influences of French Impressionism and began to experiment with some of its stylistic elements. American Impressionists began exhibiting in major cities in the U.S. as the public began to embrace the new style. By the mid 1880s, William Merritt Chase was among the first to adopt the style with memorable canvases of New York City and its picturesque parks.

Americans Abroa∂


John Singer Sargent

Man Reading (Nicola d’Inverno), c. 1904 – 1908 oil on canvas 25 1/4 x 22 1/4 inches

Mary Stevenson Cassatt

Margot Wearing a Bonnet, c. 1902 color drypoint etching 9 3/16 x 6 1/2 inches 11


New York Impressionists

“I don’t believe in making pencil sketches and then painting your landscape in your studio. You must be right under the sky.” — William Merritt Chase

New York Impressionism was anchored by William Merritt Chase, who became one of the most venerated figures in American art because of his painting skills and his remarkable abilities as a teacher. Described as the most important teacher of his generation, he was not committed to any one style of painting. Instead, he blended elements of various styles including Realism, Impressionism and Tonalism, reflecting his willingness to grow and change with an evolving art world. He taught for many years at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and at New York’s Art Students League. Chase was a dedicated plein air painter, who once claimed, “I don’t believe in making pencil sketches and then painting your landscape in your studio. You must be right under the sky.” 1

Europe, with the best known being the Shinnecock Hills Summer School. On Long Island, Chase was surrounded by the natural beauty of the area including the water, beaches and dunes. His popular plein air summer school at Shinnecock lasted for twelve seasons beginning in 1891. The Tenth Street Studio building in New York housed numerous artists’ studio spaces. Chase’s studio, which he used from 1878 to 1895, was formerly occupied by Albert Bierstadt, and modeled, in part, on those of great European masters such as Pieter Paul Rubens. Chase’s studio was renowned for its unique collection of one-of-a-kind, and exotic objects. The studio and its extensive props served for decades as a gathering place for fellow artists and his long list of clients.

New York Impressionists The artist led many summer workshops throughout the East Coast and in

Quoted in William Merritt Chase: Summers at Shinnecock 1891 – 1902, exh. cat. (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1987), 18.

1


John Fabian Carlson

Snowy Waters, c. 1920 – 1927 oil on canvas 12 x 16 inches

13


William Merritt Chase

My Palette, c. 1870 – 1880 oil on canvas 20 x 24 inches

14


John La Farge

Japanese Peasant Girl, 1886 oil on wood panel 14 x 16 1/4 inches

New York 15


Philadelphia Impressionists

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts served as the nucleus for a group of painters who were attracted to new techniques and subject matter influenced by contemporary European trends, namely Impressionism.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts served as the nucleus for a group of painters who were attracted to new techniques and subject matter influenced by contemporary European trends, namely Impressionism. Drawn to the institution by the Academy’s reputation as the leading school of the visual arts and to the oldest museum in the nation, eager pupils of the style enrolled in large numbers. Some instructors, including William Merritt Chase, Thomas Anshutz, Hugh Breckenridge, and Daniel Garber, hosted summer classes to enrich their students’ Academy experience. By the 1890s, the Pennsylvania Academy

had become the national center of American Impressionism. Boston was perhaps the only other city that could challenge Philadelphia’s supremacy with painters like Edmund Tarbell, Frank Benson and William Paxton.1 Philadelphia attracted students not only to the Pennsylvania Academy but to the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art and Design), the School of Industrial Art of the Pennsylvania Museum (now the University of the Arts), the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry (now Drexel University), and the Spring Garden Institute.

Philadelphia Impressionists Sylvia Yount, “‘In Education, Comradeship, and Common Aims’: The Bucks County Painters and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts,” in Pennsylvania Impressionism, ed. by Brian Peterson, (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002), 61.

1


Richard Blossom Farley

Blue and Gold, 1912

George Agnew Reid

oil on canvas 28 x 25 inches

Portrait of Mrs. Reid, 1902 oil on canvas 30 x 25 inches

17


New Hope, Bucks County Colony

“Bucks County was a place where an independent, self-sufficient man could make a living from the land, bring up a family, and still have the freedom to paint as he saw fit.” — Edward Willis Redfield

New Hope was an ideal location for Philadelphia-area artists who were seeking a nearby escape from the city with idyllic views of the surrounding waterways and hills. Artist William Langson Lathrop and his family arrived in New Hope, Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1898, renting a property at Phillips Mill. The following year, they purchased the miller’s house and surrounding farm. A number of fellow artists, including Henry Snell and Charles Rosen, and students, began to pay visits to the Lathrops at their picturesque farm. The Lathrop residence became the nucleus of the New Hope artists’ colony. Annie Lathrop served afternoon tea each Sunday during the summer to friends and family. The natural beauty of the property with its limestone walls, rolling lawn and view of the Delaware River filtered through a screen of trees, provided constant subject matter for Lathrop, his friends, and pupils.

and firmly established the colony as an attraction for artists and students. Redfield, who was known for his pioneering spirit and rugged approach to painting outdoors, moved into a large island farm and a portion of the property which bordered along the Delaware Canal, just north of New Hope, not far from Phillips Mill. A third major artist, Daniel Garber, renowned painting teacher at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts arrived in New Hope in 1907. Garber settled just north of the hamlet on Cuttalossa Farm, with a nearby creek, quarries, and view of the Delaware River. The New Hope art colony continued to thrive well into the 1920s. Redfield may have described the colony’s appeal best when he said, “Bucks County was a place where an independent, self-sufficient man could make a living from the land, bring up a family, and still have the freedom to paint as he saw fit.” 1

New Hope, Bucks County Colony Edward Willis Redfield’s arrival in New Hope in 1898 coincided with Lathrop’s,

Brian Peterson, “Impressionism Comes to Bucks County,” in Pennsylvania Impressionism, ed. by Brian Peterson, (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002), 10.

1


Arthur Watson Sparks

Le Quai Sainte-Catherine, Martigues, France, c. 1918 oil on board 23 1/2 x 28 3/4 inches

19


Robert Spencer

The River – March, 1918 – 1920 oil on canvas 30 x 36 inches

20


John Fulton Folinsbee

Winter Nocturne, 1926 oil on canvas 32 x 40 inches

Fern Isabel Coppedge

The Delaware in Winter, by 1934 oil on canvas 30 x 30 inches

New Hope 21


Edward Willis Redfield

Winter in the Valley, c. 1920s oil on canvas 36 x 50 inches

22


William Langson Lathrop

The Muskrat Hunter, 1908 oil on canvas 30 x 40 inches

New Hope 23


Cos Cob Colony

The Holley House became the heart and soul of the art colony and provided the necessary ambiance for artists, poets, journalists, and political commentators to exchange ideas and experiment.

Artists began to flock to Greenwich, of which Cos Cob is a part, during the last decades of the nineteenth century. Cos Cob, located in southern Connecticut, just off Long Island Sound, was easily accessible from New York City by a short train ride. It possessed a picturesque harbor and shipyard, charming clapboard architecture, and nearby small farms. In the 1870s, the Holley family opened a boarding house to accommodate the growing numbers of artists and tourists who sought rest and relaxation in this suburban commune. The Holley House became the heart and soul of the art colony and provided the necessary ambiance for artists, poets, journalists,

and political commentators to exchange ideas and experiment. J. Alden Weir and John Henry Twachtman were among the earliest artists to arrive and stay at Holley House in the late 1870s. Twachtman settled in Greenwich in 1889 and began teaching summer classes with Weir for the Art Students League based in New York. The colony thrived until the 1920s and saw the changeover of Greenwich from a blue-collar fishing and farming village to an elegant suburb of New York City. Other important artists associated with the colony include Ernest Lawson, Leonard Ochtman, Emil Carlsen, and Robert Reid, among others.

Cos Cob Colony


Robert Lewis Reid

Apple Blossoms, c. 1900 oil on canvas 22 x 26 inches

Robert Lewis Reid

Summer Breezes, c. 1910 – 1920 oil on canvas 25 x 30 inches

25


Old Lyme Colony

“I want to drive you around and see a little of this beautiful country, where pictures are made – your station is Lyme.” — Henry Ward Ranger

By the 1890s, artists began exploring the charming eastern coast of Connecticut and gathered in Old Lyme. The quiet town was a retreat where artists could easily escape the city. Henry Ward Ranger was among the first artists to recognize the scenic beauty of the area, ideally suited to painting en plein air, or out-of-doors. The artist was seeking a town that could create an American Barbizon, based on the mid-nineteenthcentury French colony formed in the forest of Fontainebleau just outside of Paris. Ranger wrote to his agent in New York, “I want to drive you around and see a little of this beautiful country, where pictures are made – your station is Lyme.” 1

prominent ship captain, made her property welcoming to artists and played hostess to lively conversations in the dining room and, during summer, outdoors. She created studio spaces on the property from farm outbuildings, and turned hallways into informal art galleries to display her boarders’ works of art. 2 Over the decades that the colony thrived, more than two hundred artists including Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, Clark Voorhees, Guy Wiggins, and Chauncey Ryder, among others, participated in the communal experience of Old Lyme.

Ol∂ Lyme Colony Much like Holley House in Cos Cob, the heart of the colony at Old Lyme was Florence Griswold’s boarding house. Griswold, the single daughter of a

Summer classes drew many artists to the colony and, by 1902, annual exhibitions mounted at the Noyes Library became the first American summer art show.

En Plein Air: The Art Colonies at East Hampton and Old Lyme, 1880 – 1930, (Old Lyme, CT: Florence Griswold Museum, 1989), 25. For an excellent recent discussion of the Connecticut colonies see, Amy Kurtz Lansing, “Art Colonies of the Connecticut Coast,” in Call of the Coast: Art Colonies of New England, exh. cat. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009), 12 - 19.

1

2


Guy Carleton Wiggins

Gloucester at Twilight, 1916 oil on canvas 12 x 16 inches

27


Frederick Childe Hassam

Beach at East Hampton, 1905 oil on canvas 26 x 24 inches

28


Chauncey Foster Ryder

The Old Road to Deering, c. 1921 oil on canvas 44 1/2 x 56 1/2 inches

Chauncey Foster Ryder

Early April, c. 1910 – 1920 oil on canvas 32 x 40 inches

Old Lyme 29


Massachusetts Art Colonies

Impressionist Hugh Breckenridge remarked in an interview in 1926 that, “Gloucester has everything the artist wants except mountains.” Gloucester was home to the Cape Ann art colony, which holds the claim to be one of America’s oldest continuously operating art colonies.

Massachusetts, with its charming villages with historic structures, scenic harbors, serene beaches, and rocky coastline, was home to rich art colonies at Rockport, Cape Ann and Provincetown. Boston was also home to a flourishing school of American Impressionism. Charles Webster Hawthorne founded a summer school of painting known as the Cape Cod School of Art in the fishing village of Provincetown in 1899. Hawthorne had previously studied with William Merritt Chase at Shinnecock on Long Island. In the decades following, Provincetown’s art scene blossomed and included nearly a half dozen summer schools with instruction in plein air painting.

“Gloucester has everything the artist wants except mountains.” 1 Gloucester was home to the Cape Ann art colony, which holds claim to be one of America’s oldest continuously operating art colonies. Over the years, Cape Ann attracted many artists, including impressionist Childe Hassam. Hassam returned frequently to Gloucester over a period of more than twenty-five years, creating much-admired oils and watercolors of harbors, docks and vessels. Maurice Prendergast and Frank Duveneck were other impressionists drawn to Gloucester’s natural beauty. Even if they did not regularly return summer after summer, many artists took inspiration from the spectacular harbor views.

Impressionist Hugh Breckenridge remarked in an interview in 1926 that,

Massachuset†s Ar†  Colonies Gloucester Daily Times, September 10, 1926, 7.

1


Nancy Maybin Ferguson

Market Day, 1915 oil on canvas 25 x 36 inches

31


William McGregor Paxton

Girl with a Hand Mirror, by 1915 oil on canvas 25 x 30 inches

32


Charles Webster Hawthorne

A Study in White, c. 1900 oil on canvas 36 x 22 inches

Massachusetts 33


Frederick John Mulhaupt

February’s Sun, c. 1920s oil on canvas 36 x 36 inches

34


Frank Weston Benson

On Grand River, c. 1920 oil on canvas 36 x 44 inches

Massachusetts 35


Exhibition Checklist This checklist is for the full exhibition, all artists listed below may not be represented in this book. Artists are listed alphabetically; measurements are in inches, height preceding width.

Bernard Badura

American, 1896 – 1986 Quarry at New Hope, by 1935 oil on canvas 25 x 30 Public Works of Art Project 1935.9.1

Walter Emerson Baum

Log Driver, 1924 etching 9 3/4 x 11 3/4 Museum Purchase 1928.52.1 Two Crows, 1920 etching 2 x 2 7/8 Gift, Mrs. Willard Ziegler 1957.86.1

American, 1884 – 1956

Bucks County Landscape, by 1946 oil on canvas 32 x 40 Museum Purchase 1946.85.1

Frank Weston Benson American, 1862 – 1951

On Grand River, c. 1920 oil on canvas 36 x 44 Museum Purchase 1928.51.1 On the Kedgwick, 1923 etching 7 7/8 x 11 7/8 Museum Purchase 1956.57.1 Sunrise, 1920 etching 6 3/4 x 10 3/4 Museum Purchase 1928.51.1 Ducks Alighting, 1921 etching 5 3/4 x 4 1/2 Museum Purchase 1967.166.1C

36

Hugh Breckenridge American, 1870 – 1937

Blue and Gold, 1916 oil on canvas 76 x 43 Gift, Roxanna Grace Breckenridge, wife of the artist 1928.277.1

Cora Smalley Brooks American, 1885 – 1930

The Flowers of Spring, c. 1925 oil on canvas 30 x 36 Museum Purchase 1934.39.1 Autumn Decoration, c. 1920s oil on canvas 28 x 42 Gift, Katherine R. Loose 1932.387.1

Soren Emil Carlsen American, 1848 – 1932

The Canal, c. 1910 – 1920 oil on canvas 15 1/4 x 18 Museum Purchase 1931.19.1

Entrance to the Harbor of St. Thomas, 1915 oil on canvas 40 x 60 Museum Purchase 1938.276.1

John Fabian Carlson American, 1874 – 1945

Snowy Waters, c. 1920 – 1927 oil on canvas 12 x 16 Museum Purchase 1927.1879.1

Mary Stevenson Cassatt American, 1844 – 1926

Bill Holding the Back of a Chair, c. 1889 – 1891 etching 6 x 4 9/16 Museum Purchase 1952.6.1 Margot Wearing a Bonnet, c. 1902 color drypoint etching 9 3/16 x 6 1/2 Museum Purchase 1964.104.1 Mother, Child and Baby, c. 1908 drypoint 16 1/4 x 11 1/4 Museum Purchase 1951.27.1

William Merritt Chase

Eanger Irving Couse

My Palette, c. 1870 – 1880 oil on canvas 20 x 24 Museum Purchase 1931.907.1

The Water Course, c. 1915 oil on canvas 29 x 24 Gift, George D. Horst 1917.2.1

William Merritt Chase’s Original Palette and Brush wood and oil paint 12 1/2 x 18 1/2 Gift, William Ferguson 1961.145.1

Indian Hunter, c. 1920s oil on canvas 22 x 18 Gift, Mrs. John Horst 1941.239.1

Girl with Doll, c. 1870 – 1880 oil on canvas 17 1/4 x 14 Museum Purchase 1932.389.1

Miles Boyer Dechant

American, 1849 – 1916

Portrait of a Boy in Van Dyck Costume, c. 1870 – 1880s oil on wood 19 3/8 x 14 3/8 Museum Purchase 1939.342.1

Colin Campbell Cooper American, 1856 – 1937

The Lotus Pool, El Encanto, Santa Barbara, c. 1921 – 1922 oil on canvas 36 x 29 Museum Purchase 1922.163.1

Fern Isabell Coppedge American, 1883 – 1951

The Delaware in Winter, by 1934 oil on canvas 30 x 30 Gift, Mrs. Harry S. Craumer 1934.2.1

American, 1866 – 1936

American, 1890 – 1942 The Saw Mill, 1932 watercolor 20 x 13 1/4 Museum Purchase 1933.399.1

A Summer Sunset, 1929 etching 5 3/4 x 7 3/4 Museum Purchase 1930.34.1 Preparing for Winter, 1930 etching 6 x 6 5/8 Museum Purchase 1930.35.1 Doorway at Newbury Port, Massachusetts, 1928 etching 7x6 Museum Purchase 1930.36.1


Richard Blossom Farley

Benjamin (Ben) Foster

Albert Lorey Groll

Charles Webster Hawthorne

Ernest Lawson

Blue and Gold, 1912 oil on canvas 28 x 25 Museum Purchase 1917.3.1

The Church at Dedham, Massachusetts, c. 1920s oil on canvas 20 x 18 Museum Purchase 1931.196.1

Painted Desert – Arizona, c. 1920s oil on canvas 28 x 36 Museum Purchase 1928.20.1

A Study in White, c. 1900 oil on canvas 36 x 22 Museum Purchase 1931.197.1

High Bridge – Winter, c. 1900 – 1910 oil on canvas 19 1/4 x 24 1/4 Museum Purchase 1964.104.1

American, 1875 – 1951

Passing Cloud, 1919 oil on canvas 26 x 37 Museum Purchase 1921.550.1

Nancy Maybin Ferguson American, 1862 – 1967 Market Day, 1915 oil on canvas 25 x 36 Gift, George D. Horst 1915.35.1

John Fulton Folinsbee American, 1892 – 1972 Winter Nocturne, 1926 oil on canvas 32 x 40 Museum Purchase 1926.368.1 Storm Light, 1937 oil on canvas 34 x 50 Gift, Friends of the Reading Public Museum in Memory of Miriam Murray Boynton 1977.1.1

American, 1852 – 1926

Corn Stalks and Pumpkins, c. 1910 – 1920 oil on canvas 22 x 18 Museum Purchase 1933.258.1

George F. Fuller

American, 1822 – 1884 Harvest Time, c. 1880 oil on canvas 14 x 16 1/2 Museum Purchase 1931.908.1

American, 1856 – 1952

Charles Paul Gruppe

American (Canadian born) 1860 – 1940 Homeward Way, c. 1900 oil on canvas 78 x 58 Gift, J.J. Getz and David C. Geiger 1918.571.1

Frederick Childe Hassam American, 1859 – 1935

American, 1880 – 1958

Beach at East Hampton, 1905 oil on canvas 26 x 24 Museum Purchase 1929.204.1

Goat Hill, c. 1930 oil on canvas 50 x 60 Museum Purchase 1930.131.1

The Hay Barn, 1920 etching 11 x 15 Museum Purchase 1954.3.1

Daniel Garber

Lambertville, 1922 etching 5 x 5 3/4 Gift, William Ferguson 1961.146.1

Arrah Lee Gaul

American, 1883 – 1980 The Harbor, Edgartown, 1915 oil on canvas 25 x 30 Museum Purchase 1916.33.1

American, 1872 – 1930

Constance Le Boiteaux, c. 1919 oil on canvas 30 x 25 Museum Purchase 1949.10.1

Eugene Higgins

American, 1874 – 1958 Evening and Horseman, c. 1920 drypoint engraving and etching 6 1/4 x 7 1/4 Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Albert Miller, Jr. 1985.177.1

John La Farge

American, 1835 – 1910 Japanese Peasant Girl, 1886 oil on wood panel 14 x 16 1/4 Museum Purchase 1926.232.1

William Langson Lathrop American, 1859 – 1938

The Muskrat Hunter, 1908 oil on canvas 30 x 40 Museum Purchase 1927.2508.1 Canadian Cottages, 1886 etching 26 x 30 Museum Purchase 1975.36.1

American, 1873 – 1939

Antonio Pietro Martino American, 1902 – 1988

Sunshine and Shadow, 1926 oil on canvas 36 x 40 Museum Purchase 1927.1788.1

Arthur Meltzer

American, 1893 – 1989 Harvest Winds, 1943 oil on canvas 16 x 20 Gift, Friends of the Reading Public Museum in Memory of Wentworth D. Boynton 1983.106.1

Richard Summer Meryman American, 1882 – 1963

Arcadia: Montecito, California, by 1923 oil on canvas 36 x 40 Museum Purchase 1923.135.1

Frederick John Mulhaupt American, 1871 – 1938

February’s Sun, c. 1920s oil on canvas 36 x 36 Gift, Thun, Janssen & Oberlaender 1925.153.1

37


Frederic Nunn

William McGregor Paxton

Gathering Clouds, c. 1910 oil on board 22 x 28 Gift, George D. Horst 1916.44.1

Girl with a Hand Mirror, by 1915 oil on canvas 25 x 30 Museum Purchase 1932.388.1

American, 1879 – 1959

American, 1869 – 1941

Leonard Ochtman

Joseph Thurman Pearson, Jr.

The Edge of the Wood, 1901 oil on canvas 16 1/4 x 22 1/4 Museum Purchase 1928.44.1

The Closed Shutter, 1915 oil on canvas 28 x 26 Museum Purchase 1925.154.1

Morris Hall Pancoast

Samuel George Phillips

Portuguese Hill, Gloucester, c. 1920s oil on canvas 28 x 32 Museum Purchase 1928.62.1

The Lobster Wharf, c. 1910 – 1920 oil on canvas 25 x 30 Museum Purchase 1943.236.1

American, 1854 – 1934

American, 1877 – 1963

Stephen Parrish

American, 1846 – 1968 Sunset, Gloucester Harbor, 1880 etching 4 7/8 x 8 7/8 Museum Purchase 1938.226.12 Seascape, n.d. etching 3 x 5 1/8 Museum Purchase 1970.71.1

38

American, 1876 – 1951

American, 1884 – 1963

Charles Adams Platt American, 1861 – 1933

Provincial Fishing Village, n.d. etching 2 3/8 x 7 7/8 Museum Purchase 1919.200.1 Street at Honfleur, France, 1882 etching 4 1/8 x 8 5/8 Museum Purchase 1919.202.1 Mud Boats on the Thames, 1883 etching 6 1/8 x 11 1/4 Museum Purchase 1919.209.1

Old Boat House, Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1881 etching 5 7/8 x 9 7/8 Museum Purchase 1919.1067.1 Shanties on the Harlem, 1881 – 1882 etching 4 1/8 x 7 5/8 Museum Purchase 1938.226.193

Lazar Raditz

American (Russian born), 1887 – 1956 Portrait of Mrs. Lazar Raditz, 1918 oil on canvas 36 x 29 Gift, George D. Horst 1925.154.1

Henry Ward Ranger American, 1868 – 1916

On Long Island Sound, 1912 oil on board 12 x 16 Museum Purchase 1927.1876.1 Marine – Green and Gold, c. 1915 oil on canvas 28 x 36 Museum Purchase 1928.70.1

Edward Willis Redfield American, 1869 – 1965

Winter in the Valley, c. 1920s oil on canvas 36 x 50 Museum Purchase 1928.68.1 Hill Road, c. 1910 – 1920 oil on canvas 28 x 21 Museum Purchase 1931.642.1 Booth Bay, Maine, 1902 oil on canvas 36 x 50 Museum Purchase 1960.82.1C Winter Landscape, 1907 oil on canvas 36 x 50 Gift, Mr. Harold Evans 1976.17.1

Landscape with Sheep, c. 1902 – 1910 oil on canvas 18 x 24 Gift, Mrs. Isaac Heister 1927.1786.1

Robert Lewis Reid American, 1862 – 1929

Apple Blossoms, c. 1900 oil on canvas 22 x 26 Museum Purchase 1931.905.1 Summer Breezes, c. 1910 – 1920 oil on canvas 25 x 30 Museum Purchase 1931.641.1

Charles Rosen

American, 1878 – 1950

George Agnew Reid

Across the River, 1909 oil on canvas 18 x 24 Museum Purchase 1931.639.1

Portrait of Mrs. Reid, 1902 oil on canvas 30 x 25 Gift, George A. Reid 1922.915.1

Chauncey Foster Ryder

Canadian, 1860 – 1947

American, 1868 – 1949

Mary Heister Reid

Canadian (American born), 1854 – 1921

Pines in the Valley, c. 1890 – 1900 oil on canvas 32 x 40 Museum Purchase 1927.1880.1

Hollyhocks, 1914 oil on canvas 36 x 22 Gift, Mary Heister Reid 1922.1.1

Early April, c. 1910 – 1920 oil on canvas 32 x 40 Museum Purchase 1927.1877.1 The Old Road to Deering, c. 1921 oil on canvas 44 1/2 x 56 1/2 Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Lee M. Erdman 1981.14.1


John Singer Sargent

George William Sotter

Augustus Vincent Tack

Walter Ufer

Frank Reed Whiteside

Man Reading, (Nicola d’Inverno), c. 1904 – 1908 oil on canvas 25 1/4 x 22 1/4 Museum Purchase 1948.35.1

Hill Road, c. 1920 oil on canvas 22 x 26 Museum Purchase 1921.549.1

Rising Wind and Tide, n.d. oil on canvas 18 x 24 Museum Purchase 1929.34.1

Pab Shlee, n.d. oil on canvas 12 x 16 Museum Purchase 1931.643.1

The Storm Surf, 1914 oil on canvas 14 x 20 Museum Purchase 1915.38.1

Paulette Van Roekens

Guy Carleton Wiggins

Towers In The Mist, 1925 oil on canvas 40 x 29 3/4 Museum Purchase 1928.67.1

Gloucester at Twilight, 1916 oil on canvas 12 x 16 Gift, George D. Horst 1917.5.1

Harry Aiken Vincent

Charles Herbert Woodbury

Harbor (New England), c. 1920s oil on canvas 30 x 36 Museum Purchase 1933.257.1

Built Upon the Rocks, c. 1889 intaglio print 6 3/4 x 10 1/2 Gift, Dr. Levi W. Mengel 1934.81.1

American, 1856 – 1925

Walter Elmer Schofield American, 1867 – 1944

American, 1879 – 1953

Arthur Watson Sparks American, 1870 – 1919

A Breezy Day – Early Autumn, n.d. oil on canvas 30 x 36 Museum Purchase 1928.69.1

Le Quai Sainte-Catherine, Martigues, France, c. 1918 oil on board 23 1/2 x 28 3/4 Museum Purchase 1919.1010.1

John Sharman

Arthur Prince Spear

Interior, c. 1914 oil on canvas 30 x 26 Gift, George D. Horst 1914.17.1

Pot of Gold, 1921 oil on canvas 40 x 34 Museum Purchase 1922.162.1

American, 1879 – 1971

American, 1879 – 1959

Francis Hopkinson Smith

Robert Spencer

New York Cityscape, c. 1900 oil on canvas 13 1/2 x 19 1/2 Gift, Dr. and Mrs. Albert Miller, Jr. 1985.179.1

The River – March, 1918 – 1920 oil on canvas 30 x 36 Museum Purchase 1927.1878.1

American, 1838 – 1915

Behind the Groote Kirk, Dordrecht, n.d. watercolor on paper 27 x 19 Museum Purchase 1945.130.1

American, 1878 – 1931

Melville F. Stark

American, 1903 – 1987 Pier No. 3 New Bedford, c. 1944 oil on canvas 25 x 30 Museum Purchase 1944.138.1

American, 1870 – 1949

Portrait of a Young Woman, n.d. oil on canvas 27 x 22 Museum Purchase 1929.33.1

Abbott Handerson Thayer American, 1849 – 1921

Child’s Head, n.d. graphite and colored pencil on paper 21 3/4 x 19 5/8 Museum Purchase 1931.194.1

Joseph Trevitts

American, 1896 – 1988 Reading in Dry Winter, 1915 oil on canvas 27 x 22 Gift, Joseph Trevitts 1915.50.1

John Henry Twachtman American, 1853 – 1902

The Coast Scene, 1879 oil on canvas 22 x 36 Museum Purchase 1929.181.1

American, 1876 – 1936

American, 1896 – 1988

American, 1864 – 1931

Fred Wagner

American, 1860 – 1940 Delaware Canal, c. 1920s oil on canvas 29 x 35 Museum Purchase 1926.444.1

Julian Alden Weir

American, 1852 – 1919 Still Life with Rabbit, 1879 gouache on paper 28 3/4 x 34 3/8 Museum Purchase 1927.1881.1

American, 1866 – 1929

American, 1883 – 1962

American, 1864 – 1940

Sea Pasture, 1936 intaglio print 8 3/4 x 10 7/8 Gift, Dr. Levi W. Mengel 1967.157.1C

Charles Morris Young American, 1869 – 1964

After an April Shower, 1910 oil on canvas 30 x 40 Museum Purchase 1929.182.1 At White Horse, 1923 oil on canvas 20 x 24 Museum Purchase 1924.395.1

Exhibition Checklist 39


American Impressionism Full artwork shown on page 5.

Book design by Bachleda Advertising, LLC


American Impressionism catalog  

A book created for the Reading Public Museum in conjunction with a traveling exhibition they produced of American Impressionism.

American Impressionism catalog  

A book created for the Reading Public Museum in conjunction with a traveling exhibition they produced of American Impressionism.

Advertisement