Hudson River Museum
Yonkers, New York
A Community Collects: The Bronxville Public Library
"A Community Collects: The Bronxville Public Library,". on view at The Hudson River Museum through Sunday, May 7, 2000, comprises 26 paintings from the Library's collection, dating from the 1880s through the 1930s. (left: Emil Carlson, Still Life, c. 1903, oil on canvas, 20 x 24 inches, Bequest of Ernest E. Quantrell, Collection of Bronxville Public Library, Photo: John Maggiotto)
When the Library was built in 1942, its trustees asked local residents to donate artwork to provide the institution with a home-like atmosphere. The community's response to this request can be seen in."A Community Collects."
The exhibition includes works by leading American artists Ernest Lawson, John Francis Murphy, Albert Bierstadt, William M. Hart and Frederick Judd Waugh, as well as paintings by Bronxville residents Bruce Crane and Henry Hobart Nichols.
The subjects range from landscapes and still lifes to paintings of Native Americans. After the Civil War and toward the end of the 19th century, American artists moved away from the trend of using landscape paintings to depict realistic panoramic vistas with nationalistic and epic themes. Marked by the influences of French impressionism, they began to interpret their subjects through the lenses of individual experience: emotions and intellect. (left: Ernest Lawson (1873-1939), The Harlem River, c. 1925, oil on canvas, 35 x 30 inches, Bequest of William Francis Burt, Collection of Bronxville Public Library, Photo: John Maggiotto)
This shift is evident in the seascapes of Frederick Judd Waugh (1861-1940). Through the years, his work evolved from detailed, panoramic vistas to depictions of smaller areas of seas, rocks and sky in a more abstract style. "In his painting, 'Rocks and Seas,' Waugh uses pure, unmixed colors directly from the tube, making his subject appear fresh and new," said Museum Director Philip Verre, who curated the exhibition.
Bruce Crane (1857-1937) arrived in Bronxville in 1915 and was the last of the art colony artists. His work also shifted from literal representations of nature to landscapes characterized more by color tones than actual detail. Crane created a sense of mood by using a limited palette and by building up layers of transparent pigment on the canvas as exemplified in "Sunset," a work in the exhibition. (right: Bruce Crane (1857-1937), Passing Shower, oil on canvas, 30 x 46 inches, Bequest of William Francis Burt, Collection of Bronxville Public Library, Photo: John Maggiotto)
"A Community Collects: The Bronxville Public Library" is on view in the museum's newly created Glenview Galleries. "This exhibition is well suited for the Glenview Galleries since our mission is to showcase the best of 19th and early 20th century American fine arts from local public and private collections." Verre said. (left: Everett Longley Warner(1877-1963), The Mill Dam, n.d., oil on canvas, 32 x 40 inches, Bequest of Ernest E. Quantrell, Collection of Bronxville Public Library, Photo: John Maggiotto)
Read more in Resource Library Magazine about the Hudson River Museum.
For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
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