Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Childe Hassam’

October Landscape, 1923. Charles Webster Hawthorne (1872-1930). Oil on canvas board, 30 1/8 x 24 7/8 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, Gift of Olga H. Knoepke, 1992.37

The understanding of sensation, perception, and what it meant to portray reality changed dramatically throughout the late 19th century, beginning with the Impressionist movement in France. Impressionism prioritized the individual eye over the disembodied subject of the anonymous viewing body. The theory behind the movement was all about offering a unique experience, a temporary moment, and an individual artist’s perspective. Canvases were meant to be direct translations of perceptions experienced in nature. Despite heavy initial resistance from the art establishment, Impressionist art has come to be praised for removing the burdening, dry weight of bourgeois politics in order to experience nature more directly and immediately. One was not to play into hierarchy, but rather to experience unaltered, reaction between artist and environment. Through the direct representation of the artist’s reaction, the Impressionists captured one moment of temporal, specific perception including those of the middle and lower classes of modern France.

What is often forgotten is the fact that French Impressionism, often mistaken for Impressionism at large, incorporated the beliefs, theories, and politics of one group of mostly Parisian men. Impressionism as theory and practice traveled across the Atlantic quite successfully. In the United States, it flourished among budding art colonies including Provincetown, Massachusetts, Old Lyme, Connecticut, and Shinnecock, Long Island. These art-driven townships were popular destinations and subject-settings for American Impressionists, as they boasted brilliant sunshine, luscious landscape, and sea-soaked shores.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Washington Square Park, New York City

Washington Square Park, New York City

New York City has hundreds of iconic landmarks, parks, monuments, streets, and buildings. During the early 20th century it was a bustling city, full of excitement, investment, and room for expansion and it quickly became a destination for travelers, immigrants, and artists. Art societies and academics became widely accepted and popular, and popped up all over the city. The depictions of New York increased dramatically throughout this time period. This metropolitan destination  could not be missed by any one in the art world, and many moved there to be part of the burgeoning art scene. Therefore, it is no surprise that dozens of prominent artists in the NBMAA’s collection lived and worked in New York City, and derived endless inspiration from the city. (more…)

Read Full Post »

The Bird Cage, 1910. Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874-1939). Oil on canvas, 32 x 32 in. New Britain Museum of American Art.

Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874-1939) was an American Impressionist Painter who was part of the Giverny group, but until recently was not very well-known. Frieseke was born in Owosso, Michigan, in 1874 and, from a young age, he was interested in many forms of art. He first began studying art at the Art Institute of Chicago, but he also studied in New York and in France. While Frieseke studied only briefly under James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), he was perhaps more influenced by Whistler than any of his previous instructors. He was most inspired by Whistler’s use of gradation of color. Other influences on his work included the flat and decorative features of the Art Nouveau style. Frieseke himself also stated that “no artist in [the Impressionist] school has influenced me except, perhaps, Renoir.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

The Dragon Cloud, Old Lyme, 1903. Frederick Childe Hassam (1859-1935). Oil on canvas on board, 15 1/4 x 19 1/4 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, Charles and Elizabeth Buchanan Collection, 1989.26.

Frederick Childe Hassam was born and raised in Dorchester, Massachusetts, but dropped out of high school in his third year. He started to study art seriously in 1877 at the age of 18, and in 1886 moved to Paris to attend the Académie Julian. However, it was not in this academic environment that Hassam first encountered Impressionism. This American Impressionist master was first exposed to Impressionism at various exhibitions in Parisian art galleries. He was deeply influenced by the French Impressionists and quickly began to incorporate their use of broken brushwork, intense colors, and overall light—techniques that he combined with a preference for American subject matter. Soon after his return in 1889, he settled in New York, where he and fellow artists John Twachtman (1853-1902) and J. Alden Weir (1852-1919) organized The Ten. (more…)

Read Full Post »