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Displaying items by tag: American Landscapes

Winthrop Chandler (1747–1790) is the first known American artist to paint American landscapes that have survived. The artists who painted American landscapes prior to Chandler are either unknown, were not born in America, or if they were, did not paint American scenes.1 An American, Sibyl Huntington May, painted an overmantel with people, animals, and her husband’s church, for his parsonage in Haddam, Connecticut, sometime after its completion in 1758.2 However, she only painted a single work.

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From July 1 through September 18, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme hosts an exhibition of over 40 American landscape paintings from the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York. American Landscapes: Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum traces the evolution of American art from its roots in an emerging national landscape tradition to the liberating influences of European modernism. Some of the artists represented include William Merritt Chase, William Stanley Haseltine, Theodore Robinson, John Henry Twachtman, John Marin, John Sloan, Ernest Lawson, Fairfield Porter, and Alex Katz.

Of special interest is Lyme Art Colony painter Childe Hassam, whose view of the Church at Old Lyme (1906) will be featured. “We are delighted at the opportunity to present one of Hassam’s legendary paintings of the Congregational church, which put Old Lyme on the map artistically when he exhibited them here and in New York during the early years of the colony,” said Curator Amy Kurtz Lansing. “Partnering with the Parrish has allowed us to exhibit one of the treasures of American Impressionism.”

At the beginning of the nineteenth-century, artists of the Hudson River School were among the first to record the “New Eden” that was the North American continent. Their framing of the view into the distance, often with a solitary figure in the foreground, literally invented a new way of seeing. By the middle of the century, the border of the wilderness had been pushed farther west and industrialization had begun to transform the topography of the eastern United States. A painting like Samuel Colman’s Farmyard, East Hampton (ca. 1880) evokes a nostalgia for the vanishing rural scene.

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