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Posts Tagged ‘Nelson Holbrook White’

This post comes to us from Gina Ciralli, Curatorial Intern.

Church at Old Lyme, 1905. Frederick Childe Hassam (1859-1935). Oil on canvas, 35 1/2 x 32 1/4 in. Abright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

“What he loved best were the pastures of Southern New England in the later autumn after the deciduous trees had shed their leaves and great white oaks and graceful birches stood singly or in groups on gently rolling meadows or moorlands with here and there a glacial boulder or granite ledge out-cropping above the soil.” – Artist Nelson C. White about his father Henry C. White, 1954

Nelson Holbrook White’s (b. 1932) survey exhibition Scenic Spirit is currently on display at the New Britain Museum of American Art.  Nelson’s grandfather, Henry Cooke White (1861-1952) was an acclaimed American painter and member of one of America’s most distinguished art colonies in Old Lyme, Connecticut.  From Frederick Childe Hassam (1859-1935) to Willard L. Metcalf (1858-1925), the colony comprised upwards of 200 artists during its three decades of creating nature-based scenes in oils and pastels.  Inspired by French artists Claude Monet (1840-1926) and Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), the colony defined American Impressionism by commemorating the tranquil aspects of rural New England life through use of vibrant palettes and broken strokes on wood and canvas.

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This post comes to us from Gina Ciralli, Curatorial Intern.

Self-Portrait, 2011. Nelson H. White (b.1932) Oil on canvas, 12” x 16”. Collection of the artist.

Nelson Holbrook White, contemporary realist and Connecticut native, has built his career on painting majestic landscapes.  Inspired by a life of travel, White is best known for his beach and shore oil paintings.  His survey exhibition, Scenic Spirit, is on view in the Davis gallery.

Born in New London, Connecticut in 1932 to a family of successful American artists, Nelson first studied art with his father, Nelson Cooke White (1900-1989), and grandfather, Henry Cooke White (1861-1952).  Carefully coached on aesthetics, young Nelson learned the significance of half-tones, which characterize the work his grandfather’s mentor, Dwight W. Tryon (1849-1925).  He was additionally introduced to an array of classical realists including R. H. Ives Gammell (1893-1981) and Richard Lack (1928-2009) through his family connections.  In 1954, a visit to Florence, Italy prompted a friendship and mentorship that would forever impact White’s emerging style.

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