Monday, June 2, 2014

Pasture to Pond: Connecticut Impressionism

Pasture to Pond: Connecticut Impressionism  at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT,  runs through June 22, brings American Impressionism back to its roots, according to the Museum’s Executive Director, Peter C. Sutton.

Davis_Uplands Charles H. Davis, (American, 1856-1933) Summer Uplands, n.d. 

 The history of art proves that Connecticut has long been one of the most fertile states for the creation of new art movements,” says Peter Sutton. “In no small measure it was the birthplace of American Impressionism.”

Drawn from the permanent collection of the Bruce, private collectors, area museums, and the trade, this exhibition of more than 25 works of American Impressionism speaks to the quality and beauty of this perennially popular art, and to Connecticut’s important role in its creation.

Before the turn of the 20th century, Connecticut was a logical birthplace for American Impressionism, as artists sought a nearby, rural respite from the burgeoning urban and rapidly industrializing world. While their artistic predecessors, the landscape painters of the Hudson River School, had championed dramatic landscapes of panoramic sweep and awe-inspiring majesty, the artists who came of age after the calamity and chaos of the Civil War sought a more intimate, bucolic and orderly landscape.  They found these reassuring views among the farms, rolling hills, rivers and picturesque shoreline of Connecticut.

Metcalf_Autumn Willard Leroy Metcalf, (American, 1858-1925)
While steeped in pre-Revolutionary history, Connecticut was readily accessible by train to these escaping urbanites, many of whom had winter studios in New York City.  Artists’ colonies sprang up in Cos Cob and Old Lyme and landscapists took to recording favored sites in places like Branchville, Farmington, Mystic and the Litchfield Hills.  The names of these artists – John H. Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, Childe Hassam, and Willard Metcalf – are among the most famous landscapists in American art history.  While some, like Robinson, made regular pilgrimages to France to paint alongside the great French Impressionist Claude Monet, others learned the style second hand, and collectively they made it a uniquely American manner.

“Several of the artists featured in the show exhibited in the famous Armory Show in New York in 1913, which is generally regarded as the watershed moment that introduced Modern Art and the likes of Marcel Duchamp to America,” says Peter Sutton.  “It is with pleasure then that we remember with this exhibition an era of enduring local creativity and the celebration of the beauty of our own special corner of New England.”

Crane_Harvest Moon Bruce Crane, (American, 1857-1937) 

Pasture to Pond: Connecticut Impressionism is generously underwritten by People’s United Bank, a Committee of Honor co-chaired by Leora Levy and Alice Melly, a grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, and The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund.

And when you go, don’t forget your cell phone:  This exhibition, like many others at the Bruce, will be accompanied by a compelling cell phone audio tour guide program, Guide by Cell, generously 

No comments:

Post a Comment