Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Minneapolis, MN




Twelve American Artists: Prints, Drawings, Oils

by Dennis Michael Jon


In conjunction with the August opening of the special exhibition "American Impressionism: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum " The Minneapolis Institute of Arts will present a companion display of thirty-five prints, drawings, and oil sketches by leading American Impressionists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. "Twelve American Artists: Prints, Drawings, Oils" features works selected from the museum's extensive permanent collection as well as from the private collection of museum trustee, the Rev. Richard Lewis Hillstrom, whose benefaction and longstanding interest in American art are well known within the arts community. (left: William Glackens (1870-1938), Summer Landscape (Bellport, Long Island), c. 1911-16, oil on panel, Lent by the Reverend Richard Lewis Hillstrom)

The exhibition will present works by such important artists as Childe Hassam, John Henry Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, Frank W. Benson, Willard Metcalf, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, and Robert Reid. All were founding members of the loose association of artists known as the "Ten American Painters," whose work in the early decades of the twentieth century encouraged the spread of Impressionism in this country. Many of the works are landscapes and urban scenes, subjects close to the hearts of American Impressionists. Among the featured prints are examples by Childe Hassam, including his 1917 etching Helen Burkc, a three-quarter portrait of a young Cos Cob, Connecticut, denizen standing in dappled sunlight beneath the spreading branches of an apple tree. This delightful print epitomizes the artist's interest in depicting the effects of light and shadow, and reflects his New England influences.

The display will also feature several rare drypoints by the Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt; a pair of figural etchings by the noted landscape painter and society portraitist William Merritt Chase; and a charming watercolor of the French countryside by Maurice Brazil Prendergast.

Landscapes by Ernest Lawson and William Glackens, members of the progressive group of artists known as "The Eight," indicate their appreciation for the work of the French Impressionists. (left: Ernest Lawson (1873-1939), Young Willows, c. 1912, oil on cardboard, Lent by the Reverend Richard Lewis Hillstrom)

While this modest exhibition was not designed as a comprehensive view of this period of American art, it nevertheless provides an excellent sampling of this group of artists, whose achievements helped to establish Impressionism in America.

Dennis Michael Jon is Assistant Curator in the Department of Prints and Drawings at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts and is the curator of this exhibition.

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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.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 3/18/11

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