Painting Summer in New England

April 22 - September 4, 2006



Wall texts for the exhibition:


Painting Summer in New England

New England is renowned for the delights and leisure activities afforded by its mountains, forests, seacoast, and historic sites. Artists have long taken inspiration from their summertime experiences in this six-state region. The reasons are various and multifaceted: they include the wish to encounter natural beauty and the desire to see places steeped in early American history. Painting Summer in New England is a thought-provoking anthology of more than one hundred canvases dating from the 1850s to the present. It features the work of more than eighty artists, who have painted in a variety of styles, including Impressionism, realism, and abstraction, and depicted all manner of subjects, from portraits to seascapes.

In addition to their aesthetic appeal, these paintings reflect the cultural and social preoccupations of the time in which they were made. The history of tourism, for example, is intricately connected with developments in art; the pursuit of leisure influenced where artists worked as well as the subjects they chose. Many of the works in the exhibition are idealizing images of nature, but some depict the urban environment and its diverse communities. The nudes and lush floral pictures are intended to counter New England's stereotypical association with Puritan restraint.

The exhibition makes no claim to be encyclopedic; it is a season-based exploration of the many things a painting can be and the diversity of imagery that can be called "New England."

-- Trevor Fairbrother, Guest Curator and author of the accompanying catalogue

Media partners The Boston Globe and Mix 98-5


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