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American Impressionists - A Stan Klos Webpage

American Impressionists
United States 1885 - 1930
By Neal McLaughlin

 

Art collectors are motivated by many factors for decorating their homes, landscapes and office buildings with the creations of world renowned and locally recognized artists.

Some collectors feel a connection with a work of art that transports them back to a memorable period in their life while others appreciate the aesthetic value, which adds to the ambiance of their favorite locale.

Art collecting was, and probably still is, to some degree, a status symbol to the wealth and sophistication of a family name. This most certainly held true for many of the American art patrons following the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865.

Those people fortunate enough to prosper from the 4-year conflict proudly announced their newfound riches through the construction of luxurious homes that were filled with imported ornamental arts and paintings by old masters and fashionable academics.

American art, prior to the Civil War was predominately of the Romantic style: stark, vivid and using a compilation of definite lines and shapes. However, soon after American art collectors began to adorn their lives with the work of renowned artists of Europe, a new movement was underway and would soon take root in the American art community.

Artists of the Impressionist movement had abandoned the traditional techniques of the Romantic movement in favor of a more fluent, free-flowing style to depict their personal experiences.

Unlike the traits associated with Academic artists, Impressionists rejected the idea of total devotion to imaginary subjects and the tedious and meticulous techniques. Instead, they opted for a style in which they could use rapid brushstrokes with a palette of vivid, moving colors.

To the many young American artists whom were studying in Paris this new "radical" style of painting was revolting. J. Alden Weir (1852-1919) who, would later convert to Impressionism, in a letter to his parents described these paintings to be worse than a chamber of horrors! However, for those American painters who were inspired by Impressionism and would subscribe to its theory and practice would find their careers to be both pleasing and profitable.

By the early 1890's, Impressionism had taken firm root in America and as it began to branch outward it would become a recognized valid artistic style. As the Impressionism movement gained momentum new opportunities presented themselves for the many in-demand artists. Some would find themselves in positions of teacher in the new art schools while others, like William Merrit Chase would conduct summer classes for many years to follow.

While most American Impressionists preferred to leave behind the hectic pressures of their urban lives, some artists like Childe Hassam (1859-1935) were captivated by the continuous array of activities and motion which reflected prominently in their finished paintings.

For those Impressionists who needed to escape from the congested and chaotic city life, they were afforded the opportunity to spend time with their colleagues in artist colonies which were secluded and surrounded by the serenity of nature. Others, like Charles H. Davis, who valued the benefit of solitude would spend his time painting in Mystic, along the Connecticut shore.

Although deeply devoted to outdoor painting where they were able capture the effects of natural light and movement over a period of time, American Impressionists never totally abandoned their studio habits. Mary Cassatt, (1845-1926) for instance was inspired by the activities of people and to the domestic life to which they were committed. Many of her paintings, created in her studio, show women and children relaxing in a garden of tranquility or show them engaged in a domestic chore with in interiors that emit a sense of

peace and harmony.

Impressionists expected their art to reflect modern life in a style that was both vibrant and current. Most of these artists were willing to adhere to their convictions in order to achieve this goal. However, there were a select few who were anxious only to accommodate the developing taste of the collectors and these artists merely adopted the surface effect of Impressionism.

Whether these devoted Impressionists were painting the natural surroundings of their colonies, the frantic pace of urban life or creating a serene garden hosting a tea party for mom and child, one element remained; to capture the true essence of Impressionism.

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Research Links

 

NGA - American Impressionists of the Late 1800s and Early 1900s

HOME, Tour: American Impressionists of the Late 1800s and Early 1900s. Overview | Start Tour. [image of Margaret (, [image of A Friendly ...

ArtLex on American Impressionists: Cassatt, Benson, Hassam, Chase ...

... The American Impressionists: Mary Cassatt (American, 1845-1926), John Henry Twachtman (American, 1853-1902), and Frederick Carl Frieseke (American, 1874-1939). ...

American Impressionist Society

The American Impressionist Society is a national organization that consists of over 400 members with the goal is to promote the appreciation of Impressionism ...

American Impressionists

... American Impressionists Bartlett, Frederic Clay Beal, Clifford Benson,Frank Breck, Leslie Braun, Maurice Bruce, William Blair Bunker, Dennis Miller Cassat ...

AAskART – Top Impressionists - Art Pricing Paintings Values

... AMERICAN IMPRESSIONISTS BEFORE 1940. ... Arguably one of the greatest American Impressionists, Mary Cassatt is known for her paintings of mothers and children. ...

Mary Cassatt: American Impressionist

... The story is of American artist Mary Cassatt in Paris in the last century. She was one of the Impressionists and a close friend of the great artist Edgar Degas ...

Mary Cassatt, american impressionist

... Mary Cassatt proved to be an important voice among the Impressionists in ways beyond ... Being the only American, she brought legitimacy to the style in the United ...

American Impressionists Abroad and at Home: Paintings from the ...

... 619-232-7931. http://www.sdmart.com. American Impressionists Abroad and at Home: Paintings from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. ...

American Impressionists Abroad and at Home:<BR>Paintings from the ...

American Impressionists Abroad and at Home:<BR>Paintings from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art: San Diego Museum of Art This exhibition of 39 ...

American Impressionists

... American Impressionists. United States 1885 - 1930. William Merritt Chase Research Links. ... NGA - American Impressionists of the Late 1800s and Early ... ...

The American Impressionists

... Here. To use the Library. Main Index, |, Welcome, |, Register. artincontext, The American Impressionists - Artists in Exhibition. John Leslie ...

American Impressionists

... Clarke Galleries features paintings from the 1800s to the present, including works from the Hudson River School, the American Impressionists, Cape Ann (Mass ...

American Impressionists art on canvas oil painting reproductions ...

American Impressionists at GalleryDirectArt.com your online framed art and print gallery superstore. Gallery Direct Art. ... American Impressionists. ...

Art Reviews -- American Impressionists -- Page

American Impressionists shine in fine Crocker exhibition. September 9, 1999 Elisabeth Sherwin -- gizmo@ dcn.davis.ca.us SACRAMENTO ...

American Impressionists - Painting

... Reviews. Articles. Forums. Help. FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now for the Painting newsletter! Search. Painting American Impressionists. Hassam ...

 


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