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Transcending Vision: American Impressionism, 1870-1940

May 14 - September 25, 2011

 

"Transcending Vision: American Impressionism, 1870-1940," is one of three Summer, 2011 exhibitions at the Crocker Art Museum featuring Impressionist paintings. With a strong emphasis on landscapes, the exhibitions collectively feature paintings by renowned French and American artists alongside Californian Impressionist works.

The other two exhibitions in the Crocker's "Summer of Impressionism" are:

"Landscapes from the Age of Impressionism," an exhibition of 40 mid-19th through early 20th-century French and American landscapes, on loan from the collection of the Brooklyn Museum;
 
"Gardens and Grandeur: Porcelains and Paintings by Franz A. Bischoff," featuring 40 works by the Bavarian-born artist who moved to California in 1906. This exhibit is organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art.

"People often think of French artists when they hear the word 'Impressionism,' but aren't as familiar with the extraordinary Impressionist works created by artists in the United States, and especially here in California," said Lial A. Jones, Mort and Marcy Friedman Director of the Crocker Art Museum. "We are extremely pleased to share a wide-ranging experience of Impressionism with our visitors this summer -- one that brings together works by the French masters and the greatest Impressionist painters of this country. We're particularly excited to present the 'Summer of Impressionism' as an example of the enhanced programming we are now able to offer at the Crocker." (right: Childe Hassam, Old House, East Hampton, 1917. Oil on canvas, 20 x 30 inches, Bank of America Collection.)

"Transcending Vision: American Impressionism, 1870-1940," which opened May 14 and is on view through September 25, 2011, explores both the dissemination of Impressionism from its French roots into the American idiom, and its reinterpretation in American landscape painting. Featuring 125 paintings, drawings, and prints drawn from the Bank of America Collection, the exhibition traces the development of Impressionism in the United States and the growth of a distinctively American style of painting.

Among the 75 prominent American artists represented in "Transcending Vision" are Childe Hassam, Lilla Cabot Perry, George Bellows, George Inness, Thomas Moran, and Arthur Wesley Dow. The exhibition is mainly comprised of oil paintings and encompasses the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, and a few works on the cusp of Modernism.

"Transcending Vision" is provided by Bank of America's Art in our Communities program. Through the program, Bank of America has transformed its collection into a unique community resource from which museums and nonprofit galleries may borrow complete exhibitions. By providing these exhibitions and the support required to host them, this program helps enrich communities culturally and economically and generate vital revenue for museums. By the end of 2011, Bank of America will have loaned more than 40 exhibitions to museums worldwide. (left: Ernest Lawson, Connecticut Trout Stream, ca. 1920. Oil on board, 24 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches, Bank of America Collection.)

"Bank of America is dedicated to strengthening artistic institutions and, in turn, the surrounding communities we serve," said Kathie Sowa, Sacramento Market President, Bank of America. "Sharing our art collection with the public through partners such as the Crocker Art Museum brings world-class cultural experiences to the residents and visitors of Sacramento and beyond and provides important support to the Crocker that contributes to the local economy."

 

Selected programming related to the exhibition

Thursday, June 16, 12 p.m.
Lunch & Learn is an in-depth talk about E. Charlton Fortune's "Feeding Time, Monterey," a work of art on view in the Crocker's gallery of Californian Impressionist works. Participants are encouraged to enjoy lunch at the Crocker Cafe before or after the talks. Free with Museum admission.
 
Sunday, June 26, 3 p.m.
Classical Concert: Robin Sharp, Violin & Lori Lack, Piano
Inspired by "Transcending Vision," violinist Robin Sharp and pianist Lori Lack will perform Claude Debussy's "Sonata for Violin and Piano," Jascha Heifetz's "Transcriptions for Violin," George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess," and "Nocturne and Cortège" by Lili Boulanger. Purchase tickets at crockerartmuseum.org, at the Museum Admission Desk, or by calling (916) 808-1182. Fee.

(above: Arthur Wesley Dow, Flowering Field, 1889. Oil on linen, 14 1/4 x 20 1/4 inches, Bank of America Collection.)

 

Wall panel from the exhibition

While the nation at large celebrated its Centennial and reflected upon its past, American artists looked to Europe as a model for the future, reinterpreting and re-evaluating American traditions. At the same time, many American artists sought training abroad, particularly in France, where they were exposed to Impressionism and painting en plein air (in the open air). These European influences forever changed their approach. Through more than 120 paintings and works on paper, drawn entirely from the Bank of America Collection, Transcending Vision explores a style that began in France but would soon become its own, uniquely American form of expression.

The works in this exhibition provide insight into the changing nature of American art during this pivotal period. The exhibition traces not only the evolution of Impressionism in the United States, but also the development of American landscape painting from second-generation Hudson River School painters to the more modern styles of the early twentieth century realists. Examples by such well-recognized painters as Childe Hassam will be found here alongside compelling works by lesser-known artists, such as Walter Schofield, who merit wider recognition and who were important figures during the era in which they worked.

The exhibition begins chronologically with canvases by artists associated with the sweeping style of landscape painting known as the Hudson River School, as well as by the Boston painter William Morris Hunt, who is credited with bringing France's Barbizon aesthetic to the attention of the American art world. It continues with paintings by such artists as George Inness, who found inspiration in the Barbizon style, and a related group of painters known as the Tonalists, who portrayed nature in its quiet, gentle moods. Transcending Vision's primary focus, however, is on American artists who are considered Impressionists, including Childe Hassam, Lilla Cabot Perry and John Enneking. Also included are works by painters who belonged to some of America's leading art colonies, as well as by those who experimented with Post-Impressionism and Realism.

This exhibition is provided by the Bank of America's Art in our Communities program, which shares significant works from the Bank of America collection with museums and nonprofit galleries across the country and around the world.

 

Article from ArtLetter, the Crocker's members magazine, April-May-June 2011

Transcending Vision: American Impressionism, 1870-1940 features 125 paintings, drawings, and prints by more than 75 artists. The exhibition explores the dissemination of Impressionism from its French roots to its reinterpretation as a truly American style of painting. Not only does the exhibition showcase the premier practitioners of American Impressionism, it also acknowledges their roots in works by Hudson River School painters, as well as their influence in the Modernist paintings that followed.

American artists included in Transcending Vision responded to currents in European art as they tried to forge a more distinctly American tradition. Many artists studied and traveled abroad, especially in France. Several paintings in the exhibition reflect those sojourns, including Lilla Cabot Perry's The Poacher (1907). Perry lived for a time in Paris and met Monet during the summers she spent in Giverny. Though artists like Perry were strongly influenced by French Impressionism, they generally avoided the label "American Impressionists." They were eager to establish their independence.

Leading artists represented in the exhibition include Sanford Gifford, George Inness, Thomas Moran, Childe Hassam, Ernest Lawson, Edward Potthast, Daniel Garber, Guy Carleton Wiggins, Gifford Beal, John Sloan, George Bellows, and Arthur Wesley Dow.

Landscapes and seascapes dominate the exhibition. American artists looked to nature for inspiration and sought to locate humanity's place within it. Such paintings include Thomas Moran's majestic View of Fairmont Waterworks, Philadelphia (ca. 1860-1870) and more Impressionistic experiments such as Childe Hassam's Old House, East Hampton (1917), Bellows' The Old Farmyard, Toodleums (1922), and Sloan's Reddy at the Pool (1917). Guy Carleton Wiggins's Trinity Church, Wall Street (ca. 1938) emphasizes the Impressionistic beauty of a snowfall amid imposing architecture.

Other paintings were produced at influential artists' colonies like Cos Cob and Old Lyme, both in Connecticut. Such colonies across the country allowed artists to escape the cities, find new inspiration, and meet their peers. While the majority of the works in the exhibition were created on the East Coast, others reveal the growing impact of the landscape and architecture of New Mexico and California. Oscar Berninghaus' Church at Ranchos de Taos (1920) and Ernest Blumenschein's Autumn Landscape, New Mexico (ca. 1925) offer stark contrast to the quieter setting and light seen in the New England paintings.

The exhibition is part of the Bank of America's Art in our Communities program, which shares significant works from the Bank of America Collection with museums and nonprofit galleries across the country and around the world.

 

Exhibition checklist

1. Ernest Albert, Twilight, 1936. Oil on canvas, 32 x 37 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
2. Charles Curtis Allen, Untitled (Hillside Landscape), n.d. Oil on canvas, 39 x 49 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
3. Gifford Beal, Garden Beach, ca. 1925. Oil on canvas, 39 x 49 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
4. George Wesley Bellows, The Old Farmyard, Toodleums, 1922. Oil on canvas, 35 1/2 x 57 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
5. Gerrit A. Beneker, Building of Manhattan Bridge, 1909. Oil on canvas, 36 x 24 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
6. Oscar E. Berninghaus, Indian Police, n.d. Oil on canvas, 14 x 10 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
7. Oscar E. Berninghaus, Church at Ranchos de Taos, 1920. Oil on canvas, 28 x 28 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
8. Ernest Blumenschein, Autumn Landscape, New Mexico, ca. 1925. Oil on canvas, 10 1/2 x 25 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
9. Carl Oscar Borg, Pyramids, Cairo, ca. 1910. Watercolor on paper, 14 1/2 x 21 1/4 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
10. George M. Bruestle, Sunny Pastures, ca. 1900. Oil on canvas mounted on board, 19 x 22 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
11. Karl Buehr, Across the Meadow, n.d. Oil on canvas, 39 x 34 1/4 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
12. John F. Carlson, Sunny Mills, 1930. Watercolor on paper, 15 x 21 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
13. Antonio Cirino, Snow's Freedom, n.d. Oil on canvas, 24 1/2 x 29 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
14. Alson Clark, Breton Village, Rochefort-en-terre, 1903. Oil on canvas, 14 x 18 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
15. Alson Clark, Winter in Duxbury, Massachusetts, 1916. Oil on canvas, 29 1/2 x 37 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
16. Elliot Candee Clark, The Bridge, Wilton, Connecticut, 1935. Oil on canvas, 24 x 28 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
17. Samuel Colman, Landscape, 1900. Oil on canvas, 12 x 16 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
18. Samuel Colman, Watering the Herd, 1890. Oil on canvas, 15 3/4 x 29 3/4 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
19. Colin Campbell Cooper, West Front of the Capitol Steps, Washington D.C., ca.1902-04. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 29 1/4 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
20. Bruce Crane, Meadow in Spring, ca.1880s. Oil on canvas, 12 x 20 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
21. Bruce Crane, Farmhouses in the Light, ca. 1885. Oil on canvas, 9 1/2 x 16 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
22. Bruce Crane, The Old Wood Lot, ca. 1920. Oil on canvas, 17 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
23. Charles Harold Davis, A Summer Night, ca. 1910. Oil on canvas, 21 x 25 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
24. Arthur Wesley Dow, Flowering Field, 1889. Oil on linen, 14 1/4 x 20 1/4 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
25. Charles Warren Eaton, The Afterglow, ca. 1900. Oil on canvas, 28 x 24 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
26. Charles Warren Eaton, Snowy Landscape at Dusk, 1890. Oil on canvas, 12 1/4 x 22 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
27. John Joseph Enneking, Autumn Jewels, ca. 1895. Oil on linen, 23 1/2 x 29 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
28. John Joseph Enneking, Morning Mist, Jefferson, New Hampshire, ca. 1885. Oil on linen, 30 x 39 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
29. Frederick W. Freer, Choosing a Title, 1882. Oil on panel, 20 x 16 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
30. Daniel Garber, Green Mansions, ca. 1934. Oil on canvas, 51 1/2 x 55 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
31. Sanford Gifford, Mount Tacoma from Puget Sound (Mount Rainier), 1874. Oil on canvas, 8 1/2 x 15 1/4 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
32. Arthur Clifton Goodwin, Mount Vernon Street to Charles ­ Winter, ca. 1915. Pastel drawing, 22 x 26 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
33. Arthur Clifton Goodwin, Last Look - T Wharf, 1917. Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 in. (framed) Bank of America Collection.
 
34. Arthur Clifton Goodwin, Custom House Tower, 1910. Oil on canvas, 33 x 38 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
35. Arthur Clifton Goodwin, T Wharf, 1910. Oil on canvas, 51 x 95 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
36. James Jeffrey Grant, Michigan Avenue Bridge, 1925. Oil on canvas, 35 x 30 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
37. Abbott Fuller Graves, The Nest Egg, 1910. Oil on canvas, 32 x 46 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
38. Abbott Fuller Graves, Kennebunkport, Maine, ca. 1895-1905. Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
39. Emile Gruppe, Winter Stream, ca. 1935-1945. Oil on canvas, 30 x 36 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
40. Emile Gruppe, The Yankee, ca. 1935-1945. Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
41. Armin Carl Hansen, Shipyard II, Oakland, 1916. Etching and drypoint, 5 x 7 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
42. Armin Carl Hansen, Shipyard I, Oakland, 1916. Etching and drypoint, 5 1/2 x 6 3/4 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
43. Armin Carl Hansen, Double Reefed, 1930. Drypoint, 5 1/4 x 7 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
44. Armin Carl Hansen, The Squall, 1928. Etching, 6 3/4 x 9 1/4 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
45. Childe Hassam, Old House, East Hampton, 1917. Oil on canvas, 20 x 30 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
46. E. Martin Hennings, Two Summer Riders, ca. 1930s. Oil on canvas, 29 x 29 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
47. Herman Herzog, Mountainous Landscape, ca. 1880. Oil on canvas, 20 x 17 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
48. Herman Herzog, Florida Palms, ca. 1888-1912. Oil on canvas, 13 1/2 x 17 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
49. Aldro Thompson Hibbard, Country House, Hillside, Vermont, n.d. Oil on linen, 24 x 34 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
50. Ransom Gillette Holdredge, Indian Council in Yosemite Valley, ca. 1880. Oil on canvas, 20 1/4 x 36 1/4 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
51. Felicie Waldo Howell, Wall Street, The Noon Hour, 1925. Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
52. William Morris Hunt, Pasture by a Pond, ca. 1860-1870. Oil on canvas, 18 1/4 x 28 1/4 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
53. George Inness, Meadowland in June, 1880. Oil on canvas, 26 x 34 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
54. Wilson Irvine, Olde Lyme Pond, 1918. Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
55. Wilson Irvine, The Broken Wall, 1898. Oil on canvas, 34 1/2 x 45 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
56. Ernest Lawson, Connecticut Trout Stream, ca. 1920. Oil on board, 24 1/2 x 29 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
57. Jonas Lie, In a Northern Sea, ca. 1920. Oil on linen, 30 x 36 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
58. Jonas Lie, Wharf in Winter, ca. 1920. Oil on linen, 29 1/2 x 44 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
59. Jonas Lie, Harbor Scene, Cape Ann, 1909. Oil on linen, 34 3/4 x 41 3/4 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
60. Philip Little, Untitled (Landscape with Water and Trees), 1925. Oil on canvas, 45 x 67 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
61. Thomas Moran, View of Fairmont Waterworks, Philadelphia, ca. 1860-1870. Oil on canvas, 40 x 52 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
62. Leonard Ochtman, Trout Brook, 1925. Oil on linen, 23 3/4 x 29 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
63. Robert Emmett Owen, Flag Day, n.d. Oil on canvas, 19 x 23 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
64. Lawton S. Parker, First Born, n.d. Oil on canvas, 31 x 25 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
65. Edgar Alwin Payne, Evening, Navajo Country, ca. 1935. Oil on canvas, 28 x 34 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
66. Edgar Alwin Payne, Canyon de Chelly, ca. 1935. Oil on canvas, 22 x 26 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
67. Lilla Cabot Perry, The Poacher, 1907. Oil on linen, 84 x 36 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
68. Charles Adams Platt, Orchard, East Hampton, ca.1890. Oil on canvas, 13 x 20 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
69. Edward Potthast, In the Canadian Rockies, ca. 1900-1910. Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
70. Joseph Raphael, Rue Engeland, ca. 1920. Woodcut on paper, 12 x 23 _ in. Bank of America Collection.
 
71. Joseph Raphael, Winter, Linkebeek, Belgique, 1925. Woodcut on Japanese rice paper, 15 1/2 x 25 3/4 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
72. Edward Willis Redfield, Burning of Center Bridge, ca. 1923. Oil on canvas, 37 1/2 x 49 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
73. William Trost Richards, Glen Head, Donegal, Ireland, 1902. Oil on board, 5 3/8 x 9 1/4 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
74. William Trost Richards, Along the Cornish Coast, England, 1902. Oil on board, 5 3/8 x 9 1/8 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
75. William Trost Richards, Ashville Island, Ireland, ca. 1891-1903. Oil on board, 5 3/8 x 9 1/8 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
76. William Trost Richards, Clearing Skies, A Seascape, n.d. Watercolor and gouache on paper, 6 3/4 x 13 7/8 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
77. Louis Ritman, Woman Sewing in a Garden, ca. 1915. Oil on canvas, 31 x 31 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
78. Chauncey Foster Ryder, In the Mountains, ca. 1910. Oil on canvas, 30 1/2 x 29 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
79. Birger Sandzen, Farm on the Smokey, 1941. Oil on board, 40 x 104 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
80. Walter Elmer Schofield, Morning Light, The Coast, n.d. Oil on canvas, 29 1/2 x 35 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
81. Joseph Henry Sharp, Aerial of Golden Aspens on Mountains, n.d. Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
82. Joseph Henry Sharp, Hunting Son, Taos Firelight, n.d. Oil on canvas, 20 x 15 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
83. Louis Hovey Sharp, Pasadena Light, n.d. Oil on canvas, 25 x 30 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
84. John Sloan, Reddy at the Pool, ca. 1917. Oil on canvas, 19 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
85. Robert Spencer, Afternoon Bathers, ca. 1920. Oil on linen, 29 1/2 x 35 1/2 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
86. Lester Stevens, Untitled (Snow Scene), n.d. Oil on canvas, 29 x 30 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
87. Frank Henry Tompkins (Hector), Northeast Landscape - Apple Blossoms, ca. 1890. Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
88. Dwight Tryon, Broken Tree, n.d. Oil on board, 12 x 9 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
89. Frederick Waugh, Seascape, ca. 1900. Oil on canvas, 40 x 48 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
90. Julian Alden Weir, Farmhouse, ca. 1910. Watercolor on paper, 8 1/2 x 12 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
91. Guy Carleton Wiggins, Trinity Church, Wall Street, ca. 1938. Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
92. Guy Carleton Wiggins, Winter in New York, ca. 1946. Oil on board, 14 x 18 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
93. Charles Allen Winter, Gloucester Landscape with Boats, ca. 1920. Oil on board, 20 x 24 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
94. Charles Woodbury, Winter Landscape, ca. 1920. Oil on canvas. Bank of America Collection.
 
95. Mabel Woodward, Flower Garden, ca. 1910. Oil on canvas, 15 _ x 19 _ in. Bank of America Collection.
 
96. Alexander H. Wyant, Untitled (Landscape), ca. 1865-1873. Oil on board, 23 x 43 in. Bank of America Collection.
 
97. Sidney J. Yard, Moonrise, 1898. Watercolor on paper, 13 x 20 in. Bank of America Collection.

 

(above: Robert Spencer, Afternoon Bathers, ca. 1920. Oil on canvas, 29 1/2 x 35 1/2 inches, Bank of America Collection.)


Resource Library
editor's note

The above ArtLetter article was reprinted in Resource Library with permission of the Crocker Art Museum, granted to TFAO on June 3, 2011. Resource Library wishes to extend appreciation to Kathleen Richards of the Crocker Art Museum for her help concerning permission for reprinting the above article

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