Pennsylvania Impressionism

Overview

American Impressionism was a movement deeply rooted in the American soil. Artists often spurned the cities, living and working in the numerous art colonies that sprang up throughout the country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. One of the best known of these colonies formed in 1898 on the banks of the Delaware River north of Philadelphia, centered in the picturesque village of New Hope, Bucks County. Known as the Pennsylvania impressionists, this group of artists played a dominant role in the ...

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Overview

American Impressionism was a movement deeply rooted in the American soil. Artists often spurned the cities, living and working in the numerous art colonies that sprang up throughout the country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. One of the best known of these colonies formed in 1898 on the banks of the Delaware River north of Philadelphia, centered in the picturesque village of New Hope, Bucks County. Known as the Pennsylvania impressionists, this group of artists played a dominant role in the American art world of the 1910s and 1920s, winning major awards and sitting on prestigious exhibition juries. Their work was celebrated for its freedom from European influence, and was praised by the noted painter and critic Guy Pene du Bois as "our first truly national expression."

Many of the Pennsylvania impressionists both studied and taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and their stylistic roots hearkened back to the "academy realism" practiced by Thomas Eakins and his followers. Edward Redfield was the generally acknowledged stylistic leader of the New Hope painters; his vigorously realistic, unsentimental brand of impressionism influenced several generations of artists associated with the group. However, what most characterized Pennsylvania impressionism was not a single, unified style but rather the emergence of many mature, distinctive voices: Daniel Garber's luminous, poetic renditions of the Delaware River; Fern Coppedge's colorful village scenes; Robert Spencer's lyrical views of mills and tenements; John Folinsbee's moody, expressionistic snowscapes; and William L. Lathrop's deeply felt, evocative Bucks County vistas.

Pennsylvania impressionist artwork is now widely collected, and many works in private hands are shown here, as well as the holdings of the James A. Michener Museum, recognized as the most extensive public collection. Pennsylvania Impressionism explores in comprehensive and sumptuous detail this important American movement. Principally authored by the Michener's Senior Curator Brian H. Peterson, the book contains additional essays by art historians William H. Gerdts, Professor Emeritus of Art History at the City University of New York, and Sylvia Yount, Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art at the High Museum in Atlanta. Also included are biographies of more than 75 artists and extensive color reproductions of their work. Intended for both a general audience and aficionados, this book will become the principal source for information about this important branch of American impressionism.

Also of Interest—

Edward W. Redfield
Just Values and Fine Seeing
Constance Kimmerle

The Cities, the Towns, the Crowds
The Paintings of Robert Spencer
Brian H. Peterson

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A lasting contribution to American art history. . . . Well written, thorough, and organized with admirable attention to quality reproductions and portraits of leading artists, this book ought to spark increasing interest in the art and artists of Pennsylvania."—American Arts Quarterly

"A beautifully produced and informative research tool recommended for art history libraries and collectors and appreciators of the New Hope school."—Maine Antique Digest

"This magnificent new book . . . has assembled a definitive collection of impressionistic works from the Bucks Country region of eastern Pennsylvania. . . . Editor Brian Peterson, together with art historians Sylvia Yount and William H. Gerdts, provides a complete history of the movement. . . . Excellent!"—Bloomsbury Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812237009
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/15/2002
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 364,583
  • Product dimensions: 9.57 (w) x 12.57 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian H. Peterson is Senior Curator at the James A. Michener Art Museum and has more than twenty years of experience as a curator, critic, artist, and arts administrator in the Philadelphia area.
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Table of Contents

Project Sponsors
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Impressionism Comes to Bucks County: The Story of the New Hope Art Colony 1
The Painterly Voice 17
Part One: A Meditation on Originality in Art 17
Part Two: How Voice Occurs in Pennsylvania Impressionist Painting
"In Education, Comradeship, and Common Aims": The Bucks County Painters and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts 57
New Hope among the Impressionist Colonies 71
Biographies and Color Plates 91
Other Artists Associated with the New Hope Art Colony 282
Bucks County Framemakers and the American Arts and Crafts Tradition 305
Bibliography: Pennsylvania Impressionism 316
Bibliography: The American Art Colony Movement 318
Pennsylvania Impressionists at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, 1915 327
Pennsylvania Impresionists at the Sesquicentennial International Exposition, 1926 330
Index 333
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