Childe Hassam, American Impressionist

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Childe Hassam (1859—1935) created an immense body of work in the Impressionist style, comprising oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, and prints. His distinctive and enchanting images, with their focus on effects of color and light, are widely admired and are included in the collections of every major museum in the United States. In this handsomely illustrated book, the authors, all experts in the field, take a fresh look at Hassam's responses to his vibrant and complicated era. Their texts study his striking portrayals of cities and country sites in America and Europe. Also explored are his late works-those completed after 1900-when Hassam felt increasingly challenged by both modern life and modern art. These include tranquil interior vignettes, iconic images of New England churches, and his great Flag series. Hassam's life and career in Boston, New York, Paris, New England, and East Hampton as well as his travels are covered in fresh and insightful chapters. Essays on more specific subjects focus on Hassam's pride in his ancestry; his interest in architecture, gardens and allegorical themes; his accomplishments as a watercolorist and printmaker; his frames; the marketing of his art; and the contemporary critical response to it. The book, which also contains a chronology of Hassam's career and a comprehensive exhibition chronology, accompanies the first major museum retrospective of Hassam's works since 1972. Childe Hassam, American Impressionist examines this great artist's work in the context of his credo that "the man who will go down to posterity is the man who paints his own time and the scenes of every-day life around him."

Author Biography: H. Barbara Weinberg is the Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This book is the catalogue for an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (June 7 to September 12, 2004). Published in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hassam's 50-year career is dutifully presented in this expansive catalogue, published with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to accompany the current exhibition of his work (June 7-September 12). Direct influences on American Impressionist Hassam (1859-1935) include Dutch and British masters (Hassam disavowed Monet's influence, though Hassam "liberated his brushwork" in Paris), influences that mirror the painter's unfailing enthusiasm for his native country and its (and his) Anglo-Saxon forebears. Included among the 374 illustrations (244 in full color) are depictions of the urban environments Hassam cherished (Boston, New York City and Paris) as well as rose-colored, elegant views of the more rugged East Hampton and Maine. "It has been my life-long aim to retain the natural beauty and dignity of any fine old American community," Hassam wrote. His greatest achievement remains his mighty (and now iconic) flag series, and depictions of Fifth Avenue in its festooned post-WWI patriotism. The collection also includes an essay on Hassam's framing and marketing techniques, his ventures into other mediums, a checklist of works included in the exhibition and a chronology of his life, all of which contribute to a further contextualization, scholarly and popular, of this American Impressionist. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300102932
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Publication date: 6/10/2004
  • Series: Metropolitan Museum of Art Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 12.40 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Sponsors' statements
Director's foreword
Introduction 3
Ch. 1 Hassam in Boston, 1859-1886 29
Ch. 2 Hassam in Paris, 1886-1889 53
Ch. 3 Hassam in New York, 1889-1896 87
Ch. 4 Hassam in New England, 1889-1918 119
Ch. 5 Hassam's travels, 1892-1914 179
Ch. 6 Hassam in New York, 1897-1919 203
Ch. 7 Hassam in East Hampton, 1898-1935 231
Hassam's watercolors 253
"A truly learned weaving of light and dark" : Hassam's prints 267
Hassam's pride in his ancestry 285
Hassam and American architecture 295
Hassam's gardens 305
"The subject that I am known for" : Hassam's pursuit of a legacy 315
How Hassam framed Hassams 325
"On the crest of the wave" : Hassam and the marketing of his art 343
"Man sass 'em" Hassam and his contemporary critics 355
Chronology 367
Exhibitions in Hassam's lifetime 373
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2004


    While many books have been published featuring the work of famed American Impressionist Childe Hassam, few offer such stunning illustrations and none trace so completely the many years Hassam spent marketing his art. He lived the statement he made in 1892: 'I believe the man who will go down to posterity is the man who paints his own time and the scenes of every-day life around him.' Paint those scenes he did - who is not moved by his depictions of the red, white and blue flags and banners flying from the tallest buildings in New York City at the onset of World War I? It's clear that Hassam loved New York and painted it in all its many faces - summer, autumn, winter and spring. The artist also spent a great deal of time in New England where he captured quaint villages and fabled East Hampton interiors. Adept at both urban and rural scenes, Hassam studied in Paris where, it's believed, he first became acquainted with the eye catching French Impressionism. He brought much of what he had learned to America, where he would become one of the most prolific practitioners of American Impressionism. H. Barbara Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, has done a superb job of selecting the 374 illustrations included in this luxe volume as well as penning engaging and informative accompanying texts. 'Childe Hassam: American Impressionist' will be treasured by not only art aficionados but by Americans as well as they come to realize the enormous contribution Hassam made to bolstering pride in our country. - Gail Cooke

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