Portland Museum of Art
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Hamilton Easter Field: Pioneering American Modernism
March 28, 2000 - May 7, 2000
This exhibition celebrates anew the Hamilton Easter Field Foundation Collection, a 1979 gift to the Museum from the Barn Gallery Associates. The Field Collection consists of 53 works which relate to the Ogunquit, Maine, art school founded by Hamilton Easter Field (1873-1922) in 1911, and includes paintings and works on paper by Field and other artists such as Peggy Bacon, Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. The original 1979 gift will be enhanced in this installation by the presence of several recent acquisitions -- an original copy of Field's painting treatise and a watercolor depicting his New York studio -- which relate to Hamilton Easter Field's career as an artist, teacher, author, and critic.
From left to right: Niles Spencer (American, 1893-1952), Still Life with Pineapple, c. 1929, oil on canvas, 25 x 28 3/4 inches, Hamilton Easter Field Art Foundation Collection; Robert Laurent (American, b. France 1890-1970), Hero and Leander, c. 1948, limestone, 27 x 39 x 20 inches, Hamilton Easter Field Art Foundation Collection; George C. Ault (American, 1891-1948), House in Brittany, 1925, oil on canvas, 21 3/4 x 18 1/4 inches, Hamilton Easter Field Art Foundation Collection
In the exhibition brochure essay's closing remarks, Jessica F. Nicoll, Curator of American Art, Portland Museum of Art, writes: "Hamilton Easter Field's life was intertwined with the development of American modernism. His promotion of a philosophy of individual creation, advocacy of non-European artistic traditions, and creation of an artist-led organization to present nonjuried exhibitions were all part of a broader movement that transformed the arts in this country in the early twentieth century. His life and activities offer a microcosmic view of the forces that propelled American art away from academic traditions and into the spirit of honesty and invention that have characterized its evolution in this century."
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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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