Overview of Exhibition
This exhibition examines the key role played by artist colonies around the country in the development of American Impressionism. It features more than 50 oil paintings and works on paper dating from the 1880s through the 1940s by leading artists of the movement such as William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Ernest Lawson, Julian Alden Weir, John Twachtman, Chauncey Ryder, Frank W. Benson, William Paxton along with expatriate artists such as Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent.
Charles Webster Hawthorne (1872 - 1930)
Oil on canvas
36 x 22 inxhes
American Impressionism: The Lure of the Artists’ Colony
Drawn from the extensive collection of the Reading Public Museum, this exhibition examines the key role played by artist colonies around the country in the development of American Impressionism. It features more than 50 oil paintings and works on paper of the late 19th and early 20th centuries by leading artists of the movement including Frank W. Benson, John Carlson, William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Ernest Lawson, William Paxton, Robert Reid, John Twachtman and Julian Alden Weir, along with expatriate masters such as Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent. The exhibition explores a wide range of approaches to Impressionism, an important artistic movement aimed at capturing the effects of light and atmosphere.
Works in the exhibition are arranged according to the artist colonies that played a critical role in the development of American Impressionism: Cos Cob and Old Lyme in Connecticut; Cape Cod, Cape Anne, and Rockport, in Massachusetts; New Hope and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; Taos, New Mexico; and throughout California. Within each of these colonies, artists were able to teach, collaborate and escape the daily rigors of their city studios. Often located in scenic locations within striking distance of major cities, artists’ colonies provided an ideal retreat within which leading artists were inspired to produce compelling works of art, whether bold portraits, vibrant landscapes, or picturesque images of urban life.
The Reading’s collection in many ways represents a cross-section of American Impressionism, and demonstrates the variety of ways in which the nation’s painters adapted the movement’s ideas to their individual artistic endeavors. The collection also offers a broader national lens through which viewers can assess the work of Catherine Wiley, Lloyd Branson, Adelia Lutz, Charles Krutch, Hugh Tyler and other East Tennessee painters who experimented with Impressionism during this period, and whose work can be seen in the KMA’s ongoing exhibition Higher Ground (third floor).
Organized by the Reading Public Museum, Pennsylvania.