Notebook

Notebook, 1993-

DIRECTORIES - A Representative Listing with Periodic Corrections and Additions.
In review for updates in 2016

Visual Arts in
New England . . . . . . CT . . . MA . . . ME . . . NH . . . RI . . . VT . . . NE

This listing is representative of local visual arts sites in the New England States. The focus is on Art news and Calendars, Art Museums, Professional Visual Art Schools and Departments, Artists Studios, Arts Organizations, Art Associations and Art Centers at the local level in the New England States. Use 'Social Media' to keep up-to-date on programs, projects, exhibitions and events.

State Councils represent arts endeavors locally in each state . . . . . Regional Organizations list sites of regional interests . . . . . National Humanities Links and The National Endowment for the Arts represent national endeavors of interest to all.



New England Sites

New England Foundation for the Arts . . . . . Creative Ground - This online directory includes profiles for cultural nonprofits like libraries and theaters, creative businesses like television studios and design agencies, and artists of all disciplines such as performing arts, visual arts, and crafts.. . . . . Artist Retreats - Listings by New England State . . . . . New England Museum Association - "Museum people are stewards of the priceless and purveyors of timeless wisdom." . . . . The Art Colonies of New England . . . . . "Study of the art colonies at Old Lyme, Connecticut, and Ogunquit, Maine . . . . " [Thomas Andrew Denenberg, Tracie Felker. In Antiques Magazine, April, 1999] American Centuries - View from New England . . . . ."Memorial Hall Museum's American Centuries - American Centuries features a digital collection of approximately 1,800 objects and transcribed document pages from Memorial Hall Museum and Library . . . . This website is unique in many design features that facilitate successful use by educators and students. It includes a large library of primary resources, curricula, and interactive student activities; most of them presented in age-appropriate, user-friendly formats". - Thesaurus, Glossary, People and Places, Chronology, Activities, Side-by-side Viewing, User-controlled magnification features. Art and Identity in the British North American Colonies, 1700 - 1776 - "The northern colonial elite (as well as the south) looked to portraiture as an art form embodying the ambitious ideals and tastes of a wealthy society, in large measure caused by the arrival of Scottish émigré John Smibert, in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1728. An artist of considerable skill and the first academically trained painter to work in the colonies, Smibert executed more than 250 likenesses over the next seventeen years . . . . Boston grew significantly in population and economic strength. By the 1750s, one-third of all British vessels were made in New England, and American colonists were trading with Europe, Africa, Asia, the West Indies, and South America . . . . " - [Jaffee, David. "Art and Identity in the British North American Colonies, 1700â��1776". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000â��October 2004] . . . . . 'Landscapes of Visionaries' - Freedom's Way National Heritage Area . . . . . 'Art in a Season of Revolution: Painters, Artisans, and Patrons in Early America' by Margaretta M. Lovell, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004 . . . . . Late Eighteenth-Century American Drawings - "Despite having never traveled to Europe before the American Revolution, John Singleton Copley was aware of the uncanny refinement of pastel portraiture by the Swiss artist Jean-Étienne Liotard (2000.7), with whom he corresponded as early as 1762, and produced bust-length likenesses of affluent New England sitters striking for both the representation of their fashions and the revelation of their character . . . . . White Mountain Art & Artists - (Do you have images of White Mountain paintings or biographical information on the painters?) . . . . . Legacy of Cape Ann - Oldest, most continuously active art colony in America - "Fitz Hugh Lane, a native of Gloucester, executed a memorable series of engravings and paintings there between 1836 and his death in 1865." (James M. Keny) . . . . . . Cornish Artist Colony - "Between 1895 and 1925, nearly 100 artists, sculptors, writers, designers, and well-known politicians chose Cornish as the area where they wanted to live, either full time or during the summer months." . . . . . Center for New England Culture - [University of New Hampshire] . . . . . The Cos Cob Art Colony: Impressionists on the Connecticut Shore - "From 1890 until about 1920, the Cos Cob section of Greenwich, Connecticut, was the site of a lively art colony. There, John Henry Twachtman, Theodore Robinson, Childe Hassam, and J. Alden Weir participated in shaping American Impressionism" . . . . . The Dublin Art Colony - "Although the village of Dublin, N.H., and nearby Mount Monadnock have attracted writers and painters since the early nineteenth century, what we now call the Dublin Art Colony began to take shape in the late 1880s" - (Barbara Ball Buff) . . . . . Monadnock, The Mystical Magnet - "During this pre-art colony period in the mid-nineteenth century, when literature dominated artistic endeavor in New England, there was a modicum of painting relating to Monadnock" . . . . . The Visual Culture of Colonial New England . . . . . Monhegan Island - "One of the things I find remarkable is that giants of American art from every school have been inspired by this tiny island . . . . Although painters visited Monhegan beginning in the 1850s, it wasn't until the first boarding house opened in the 1880s that significant numbers arrived" - (Director of the Monhegan Museum) . . . . . Ogunquit Museum . . . . . . Beauty by the Sea - Ogunquit's Artistic Place in Maine - "Ogunquit's ability to lure fine artists dates back to 1888 when Charles Woodbury (1864-1940), a young proper Bostonian, stumbled upon Perkins Cove, a small picturesque inlet with colorful, sturdy New England sailing dories and weathered fish shacks . . . . . ." Art New England . . . . . New England Newspapers . . . . . American Craft Council Craft Calendar by State . . . . . New England Craft Fairs . . . . . New England Cable News . . . . . New England Sculptors Association - [Waban] . . . . . New England Woodcarvers Newsletter . . . . . The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators - NE. . . . . New England Artisans Guild . . . . . . American Art History: A Geographic Tour


- - - - -
American Art in General - From 'Timelines of Art History' The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.
For a perspective click dates to view:

North America, 500-1000 A.D. - "Populations grow and permanent settlements increase throughout the period, while regional adaptations to environmental conditions and the consequent specialized lifestyles evolve. In the Southwest, farming becomes more important and pithouses and storage structures are grouped into villages. The influential presence of Mexico to the south continues to be felt. In the Eastern Woodlands, mound groups that include residential areas are initiated in locations adjacent to major rivers, and the cultural pattern subsequently known as Mississippian begins. In the Arctic, whales are successfully hunted and the presence of a new archery/armor complex implies serious competition for available resources."

North America, 1000-1400 A.D. - "Consolidation of populations and incipient political centralization characterize the period, particularly in the Eastern Woodlands and the Southwest." - Algonquain Language Cultures, Iroguoian Language Cultures)

North America, 1400-1600 A.D. - "In some areas, such as the Northeast, they begin to group into more centralized political structures, while in the South, with the weakening of the important Mississippian centers, populations disperse into smaller communities. The arrival of Europeans at the end of the century, followed by the coming of fishermen, fur traders, gold seekers, and colonists, alters Native American lifeways forever. Contacts between Europeans and Native Americans increase during the following century, particularly in the Northeast, where trade expands and the arts of the region begin a period of integration of foreign elements into objects of everyday use."

The United States, 1600-1800 - Colonial Period 1600-1763, Revolutionary War Period 1763-1789, Federal Period 1789-1823 - "Europeans colonize North America motivated by religious and economic goals - They occupy lands previously the territory of Native Americans in three major regions known today as New England, the Middle Atlantic, and the Chesapeake. The English bring distinct traditions across the Atlantic with them, but their experience in the coastal colonies pushes them into new modes of social life and material culture. . . . . In 1799 The Peabody Essex Museum is founded in Salem, Massachusetts."

1800-1900 - Early Republic 1790-1820, Antebellum Era 1820-1850, Civil War and Reconstruction 1850-1877, Gilded Age 1877-1900 - In 1800 Washington, D.C. becomes the capital of the United States, in 1802 The American Academy of the Fine Arts is founded in New York, and in 1827 the first art gallery exhibition is held at The Athenaeum, Boston's first museum of fine arts.

1900 to Present- Progressive Era 1900-1920, "Roaring" Twenties 1920-1929, New Deal 1929-1941, World War II 1941-1945, Postwar Period 1945-1968, Vietnam and the Crisis of Confidence 1968-1980 . . . . The American Century. "As the United States emerges as an important world economic and political power, it also becomes central to the international art scene . . . . At the same time, innovations in computer technology fundamentally change American life, touching every aspect of daily existence, including work, communications, and leisure. Artists embrace new means of making and exchanging visual images . . . . "




New England Features

Important collections of fine and decorative arts and crafts can be viewed at the many institutions noted by state in this directory.

View works by New England artists in the Collection of American Painting at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The collections at the Worcester Art Museum span the history of American art from 1670 to the end of the twentieth century. View the special timeline of Early American Painting at the Worcester Art Museum

And institutions (below) contribute to the New England identity with an appreciation for the context --developments in relationship to the natural and scenic environment --and those things within and a part of the region that tell the story and contribute to the cultural history, preservation, and conservation:

The Trustees of Reservations (Beverly, MA) - "To preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts."

Hall Farm Center (Townsend, VT) - "Every work of art begins somewhere . . . . Hall Farm Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the processes of artistic creation and their integration into schools and communities. Central to our mission is Hall Farm, a 221-acre retreat in Townshend, Vermont that provides an environment for artists, educators, and students to investigate experiment, collaborate, and create. Direct support for working artists is provided through summer residencies at Hall Farm, where they can devote sustained attention to their creative endeavors. During the school year, we offer workshops for educators on the integration of the arts into school curricula, as well as space, instruction, and resources to young and emerging artists.

Historic New England (Cambridge St, Boston, MA) - "The oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional preservation organization in the country (Formerly known as SPNEA, The Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities) . . . . A museum of cultural history that collects and preserves buildings, landscapes, and objects dating from the seventeenth century to the present and uses them to keep history alive and to help people develop a deeper understanding and enjoyment of New England life and an appreciation for its preservation . . . . Founded in 1910 to protect New England's cultural and architectural heritage, SPNEA is an internationally known museum and national leader in preservation, research, and innovative programming. SPNEA is headquartered in Boston, with museums located throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island."

Freedon's Way National Heritage Area (Cooperative venture among its 45 communities and other stakeholders in Massachusetts and New Hampshire) - "Freedom's Way serves as a catalyst to create partnerships with local public and private interests, in cooperation with the National Park Service, in order to protect and promote our shared resources, to encourage visitors and residents to explore our history and culture and to communicate the role that our New England landscape has played in shaping uniquely American ideas and values."

The National Heritage Museum (Lexington, MA) - "We present history by telling stories that are rich in content, use compelling narrative, and are supported by dynamic displays and interactive hands-on activities."




New England History

Some Notes

Search for documents online through which to develop a perspective on a history of the arts in the New England area: Fine Art, Architecture, Public Monuments, Decorative Arts. Here are some notes:

Peabody Essex Museum - (Salem, MA) - "Artworks bridge time and place . . . . The Peabody Essex Museum is America's oldest continuously operating museum. It was founded in 1799, sixteen years after the establishment of the nation and nearly three-quarters of a century before the founding of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The museum's founders were among America's first global entrepreneurs, traveling the world in search of trade. The collections they amassed are exceptional for their provenance, age, quality, and significance."

Boston Athenaeum - (Boston, MA) - "From its early days the Athenaeum was a center for the fine arts, and was Boston's first museum of fine arts. M. M. Swan writes in her book The Athenaeum Gallery, 1827-1873: The Boston Athenaeum as an Early Patron of Art, that "for almost fifty years following its first art gallery exhibition in 1827, the trustees purchased paintings and sculpture, European and American, and fostered the production of works of art by exhibitions." In 1873 and 1874 the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, which had been incorporated in 1870, occupied two of the four Athenaeum galleries, and when it moved in 1876 to its new quarters in Copley Square much of the Athenaeum's art collection was deposited there to form the nucleus of the new museum. The Athenaeum retained many remarkable works still to be seen in the building . . . . " - Collections, Exhibitions, Events Calendar - Lectures and Tours.

Yale University School of Art - (New Haven, CT) - "The study of the visual arts at Yale had its beginning with the opening, in 1832, of the Trumbull Gallery, one of the earliest art museums in the Anglo-Saxon world and the first (and long the only one) connected with a college in this country. It was founded by patriot-artist Colonel John Trumbull, one-time aide-de-camp to General Washington, with the help of Professor Benjamin Silliman, the celebrated scientist. A singularly successful art exhibition held in 1858 under the direction of the College Librarian, Daniel Coit Gilman, led to the establishment of an art school in 1864, through the generosity of Augustus Russell Street. This new educational program was placed in the hands of an art council, one of whose members was the painter-inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, a graduate of Yale College. When the School opened in 1869, it was the first connected with an institution of higher learning in the country, and classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, and art history were inaugurated. The art collections in the old Trumbull Gallery were moved into a building endowed by Augustus Street and so named Street Hall, and were greatly augmented by the acquisition of the Jarves Collection of early Italian paintings in 1871."

Vose Galleries - (Boston, MA) - "Established in 1841, Vose Galleries began as an artists' supply store in Providence, Rhode Island and is now the oldest family-owned art gallery in the country. The gallery specializes in non-contemporary American artists from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. During the fall of 2001, however, Vose Galleries opened a new contemporary wing marking the return to exhibiting the work of living artists after a forty-year hiatus." - Artists

"In the 1860's, civic and business leaders whose families had made fortunes in the China Trade, textile manufacture, railroads and retailing, sought to influence the long-term development of Massachusetts. To stimulate learning in technology and fine art, they (civic leaders) persuaded the state legislature to found several institutions, including the Massachusetts Institue of Technology (1860) and the Museum of Fine Arts (1870). The third of these, founded in 1873 was the Massachusetts Normal Art School (renamed the Massachuestts College of Art). MassArt --was founded to satisfy two imperatives-a business demand for industrial drawing skills, and the belief of educators that training in drawing could promulgate both manual and intellectual skills, and yield even spiritual benefits. As crafted by its two founders, English art educator Walter Smith and Boston Brahmin arts impresario Charles Callahan Perkins, the new institution would produce drawing teachers required in schools throughout the Commonwealth, while at the same time producing professional artists, designers, architects, and scientists. The goal would be to educate people in the creative process, not merely train them to draw. It would "impart knowledge," Smith wrote, of "how to draw, not how to make drawings." He explained, "The process of drawing makes ignorance visible; it is a criticism made by ourselves on our perceptions, and gives physical evidence that we either think rightly or wrongly, or even do not think at all." Its roots in the economic and cultural dimensions of the Commonwealth have ensured that the college has evolved with the times. Technical drawing occurs on paper and vector graphics programs; art education students work with teachers in the field to develop new curricula for the schools; design students return from internships with a sense of what's required out there today. In myriad ways, the school is geared to develop in pace with the Commonwealth --which it supports and from which it draws its strengths --and the greater world."

The Massachusetts Drawing Act of 1870 - "An Act Relating to Free Instruction in Drawing." With passage of this Act, Massachusetts became the first state to legislate compulsory public school drawing education.

Copley Society - Co|So - (Boston, MA) - "Co|So is the oldest non-profit art association in the United States, with a history dating back to 1879. . . . . The origins of the Copley Society of art date back to the 1870s, a time when interest in the visual arts was gaining momentum in Boston. In 1876, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston opened the doors of its new building in Copley Plaza, and in 1877 the School of Drawing and Painting (later renamed School of the Museum of Fine Arts) began its first classes. In 1879, members of the first graduating class of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts felt the need to keep the ties they had formed, and to help each other in their struggle to become prominent artists. In May of that year, largely through the efforts of Alice Spencer Tinkham and H. Winthrop Peirce, the Boston Art Students Association (now the Copley Society of art) was formed."

Monhegan Island - (Maine) - "There is something healing about islands. Perhaps it's the limitless expanse of water, suggests Jan Bailey, a poet, who once lived on Monhegan and still summers there. "Water heals," she says. "Its permanence sets the rest of the world in perspective. There is greater solitude and inner time here." We sat on her porch overlooking a pond, sipping gin, and watching mallards glide on the dark green water . . . . Is there a square inch of Monhegan that has not been painted? Perhaps it is the silver light that dances off the mirror of the sea or the fog that softens the landscape that has lured painters here since the 19th century. Among them are Edward Hopper, the American painter of urban desolation, the illustrator Rockwell Kent, and three generations of Wyeths: N. C., Andrew, and Jamie. . . . " [By Cathy Newman, the National Geographic Magazine] -- The Monhegan Island Art Colony: 1858-2003 by Dr. Edward L. Deci (A voluntary director of the Monhegan Museum in 1983 and is currently president of the Monhegan Historical and Cultural Museum Association. He has written about Monhegan art in various books and catalogs) --- Monhegan Island: A 150 Year Tradition (1858-2003) --- Monhegan Artists' Residency Corporation by Raquel Boehmer and Jim Dugan

MacDowell Colony - "The MacDowell Colony was founded in Peterborough, New Hampshire, in 1907 . . . . In 1997, The MacDowell Colony was awarded the National Medal of Arts for "nurturing and inspiring many of the 20th century's finest artists," and offering outstanding artists of all disciplines "the opportunity to work within a dynamic community of their peers, where creative excellence is the standard" . . . . The MacDowell Colony was founded in Peterborough, New Hampshire, in 1907. The Colony's mission today, as it was then, is to provide an environment in which creative artists are free to pursue their work without interruption. More than 200 writers, composers, visual artists, photographers, printmakers, filmmakers, architects, interdisciplinary artists, and those collaborating on creative works come to the Colony each year from all parts of the United States and abroad. . . . . Colonists have won more than 65 Pulitzer Prizes, seven MacArthur Foundation "Genius Awards," and scores of Rome Prizes, Guggenheims, National Book Awards, Academy Awards, and hundreds of others. While many former Colonists have become well-known, most had not received widespread recognition when they first came to MacDowell."

Society for Arts and Crafts - "Meeting in Boston in the spring of 1897, a small group of architects, educators, craftspeople, and collectors organized the first crafts exhibition to be held in this country. The work of more than 100 craft artists was featured. The success of this first exhibition provoked the organization of The Society of Arts and Crafts, its purpose being "to develop and encourage higher standards in the handicrafts."

The Straus Center for Conservation - (Harvard University - Cambridge, MA) - "The Center for Conservation and Technical Studies was established in 1928 by Edward W. Forbes, Director of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University. It is the oldest fine arts conservation treatment, research, and training facility in the United States. In 1994, the Center was renamed the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies in honor of Philip A. and Lynn Straus, longtime benefactors of the Art Museums. The Straus Center specializes in the conservation of works on paper, paintings, sculpture, decorative objects, and historic and archaeological artifacts. The Straus Center for Conservation plays a leading role not only in preserving specific works of art but also in developing new methods and techniques for the field of conservation and in training the next generation of conservators. . . . . Training and education are fundamental activities of the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, maintaining a tradition established at its founding over sixty years ago when it became the first institution in this country to offer instruction in art conservation."

Concord Art Association - (Concord, MA) - "The history of the Concord Art Association is most interesting for the presentation of contemporary American art. It was stated early on that the town of Concord might well be distinquished for its exhibitions of early 20th century American Art as it is recognized for its 19th century literary tradition, American Transcendentalism [Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, and Hawthorne], and earlier its place in the American Revolution. The first president of the Association, Daniel Chester French, is known for his statue of Lincoln at the Memorial in Washington, DC and the Minuteman statue at the Old North Bridge in Concord. Annual exhibitions in the early decades of the Association invited [and maintained] the interests of the American Artists who were exhibiting in New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Chicago as well as artists from England and France, including: John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Claude Monet, Childe Hassam, Thomas Dewing, Robert Henri, Frank W. Benson, Cecilia Beaux, Laura Coombs Hills, Alexander Calder, George Bellows, Willard I. Metcalf, Malvina Hoffman, Paul Manship, and Cyrus E. Dallin [who sculpted 'Appeal to the Great Spirit' at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts]. Indeed, it was noted at the time that the Association attracted the best American art in exhibitions that were not to be seen in Boston at that time. The founder of the Association was an American Impressionist painter, Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts, from Philadelphia.

Skowhegan (Maine) - "Neither a 'school' in the traditional sense nor a 'retreat,' the program seeks to create the most stimulating and rigorous environment possible for artistic creation and interaction by providing a concentrated period of work, created with the critical assistance and camaraderie of a distinguished faculty of Resident and Visiting Artists . . . . . The founding and development of Skowhegan in 1946 is deeply connected to the explosive energy and elan that characterized post-war American culture. In the mid-1940s the art world was in ferment; what was to become known as the New York School was yet in its formative stages. Willard W. Cummings (1915-1975), a New England portrait painter, shared his vision for enriching and educating the practical art experience of young artists with a friend he had met while in the Army War Art Unit, Sidney Simon (1917-1997). Along with Henry Varnum Poor (1888-1971), already an established presence in the American art scene, and Charles Cutler (1914-1970), a New England stone sculptor, these men founded an American summer art school that would ultimately achieve an enduring place in the development of American artists of all persuasions: the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. . . . . Skowhegan draws its vitality from the talent and energy of the participants, and the community they create. Founded in 1946 by artists, and still governed by artists for artists, the program provides an atmosphere in which participants are encouraged to work and explore free of the expectations of the marketplace and academia. Alumni often report that the intensity of the Skowhegan experience has had a profound effect on their work and their lives. In order to allow others entry, no artist is allowed to return for a second summer. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Provincetown Art Association - (MA) - "The Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) was established in 1914 by 5 prominent artists (Charles Hawthorne, Oscar Gieberich, William Halsall, Gerrit Beneker and Edwin Ambrose Webster) and 10 local business men and women. The donation of their work by the organizing artists and 2 juried exhibitions mounted in the summer of 1915 began the unbroken tradition of exhibiting the work of the local artist community and collecting art works of merit from and about that community. By 1916, Provincetown, and the developing Association, benefited from the influx of artists who usually went to Europe for the summer and returning expatriates. The Cape tip art community was a viable substitute for the war-ravaged Continent and the town was firmly established as "The Biggest Art Colony in the World" (Boston Globe, 8/8/16). . . . . In the '20s and '30s the philosophical wars that were being waged throughout the art world were also fought within the Association. The artist founders came out of the Impressionist tradition and, although a variety of styles had been represented in the members exhibitions since the beginning, the PAAM establishment did not readily incorporate the modernist movement. Faced with aesthetic differences among artists, PAAM did not come down on one side or the other but, true to its mission, represented both sides of the artistic argument with separate "Modern" and "Regular" summer exhibitions between 1927 and 1937. . . . . When it celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1964 with a retrospective show of its major artists it focused national attention of Provincetown's considerable contribution to American art and revitalized the organization."

White Mountain Art & Artists - "It was New Hampshire native Benjamin Champney (1817-1907) who is considered by many to be the founder of the "White Mountain School" of painting. In effect, he established one of America's first artist colonies. He made his first trip to the White Mountains in 1838 on a summer excursion that was to change the course of his life and career . . . . Champney attracted other artists to come to North Conway in the summer to paint. The area was filled with artists painting "en plein air" under their umbrellas. . . . . One of these early artists, and the founder of the style of painting that would later be called the "Hudson River School," was Thomas Cole (1801-1848) . . . . We are seeking additional images of paintings as well as up-to-date biographical information and source material on the more than 400 painters who were known to have painted in the White Mountains in the 19th century."

Lyme Art Colony - The Florence Griswold Museum - "How did a generation of American artists wind up in Old Lyme, Connecticut? Besides the fact that there was an abundance of subject matter to choose from, the artists found perfect accommodations with the kindred bohemian spirit of Florence Griswold. Left with little means to maintain her family home, "Miss Florence" had opened her doors to boarders in 1899. Artists began to appear and over the next decade turned her stately 1817 house into the home of the Lyme Art Colony, where noted names in American Impressionism created some of their best works."

Vermont Studio Center - (Johnson, VT) - "Founded in 1984 to support the making of art as the communication of spirit through form, the Vermont Studio Center is a nonprofit, year-round, international creative community, serving 600 artists and writers from across the country and around the world in the open, nurturing, supportive work environment of VSC's award-winning 30-building campus . . . . VSC's 30 building campus has won awards from both the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Preservation Trust of Vermont, for the Studio Center's efforts to maintain and preserve the architectural heritage of the village of Johnson and the state of Vermont. In addition, VSC has participated with the town of Johnson on important local projects, such as the restoration of the Town Clock Tower and the new Town Municipal Building, lending VSC's architectural design expertise and funding skills to support our home town community as an expression of the Studio Center's commitment to community in its larger inclusive sense. As the country's largest artists' community, the 75 artists and writers participating each month in 4 - 12 week independent studio Residencies, are selected to represent an intentional mix of mediums, cultures, experience, and ages. In addition, the Studio Center provides the resource of 7 distinguished Visiting Artists / Writers per month, each spending a working week at VSC, presenting their own work, and being available to Residents for optional individual studio visits and writing conferences."



Notes on Artists

John Singleton Copley - (1738-1815) - "The foremost artist in colonial America, was virtually self-taught as a portraitist. By meticulously recording details, he created powerful characterizations of his Boston sitters. . . . . The eighteen-year-old Copley proudly signed and dated this picture "1756." His sitter, Jane Browne (1734-1802) . . . . The painted oval border and the subject's elegant pose derive from engravings of English portraits. The awkward anatomy, however, indicates that Copley lacked formal training. Still, the young artist did carefully distinguish the textures of taffeta, lace, and bead . . . . Copley demonstrated a genius, in both his American and British periods, for rendering surface textures and capturing emotional immediacy." [National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC] - Online Feature (Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC) - Search the Collections Database at the MFA, Boston, MA for images --many may be viewed in detail. . . . - Paintings in Museums and Art Galleries

Paul Revere - (1735-1818) - American Silversmith - "Born in Boston's North End in December, 1734, Paul Revere was the son of Apollos Rivoire, a French Huguenot (Protestant) immigrant, and Deborah Hichborn, daughter of a local artisan family. , , , Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem Paul Revere's Ride, written in 1860 and published in 1861 in the Atlantic Monthly, transformed Paul Revere from a relatively obscure, although locally known, figure in American history into a national folk hero. As a result, most people know him only for his famous ride to Lexington on the night of April 18-19, 1775. Revere's life, however, was a long and productive one, involving industry, politics, and community service. . . . [He] was a versatile craftsman. He did some work in brass. In addition to making silver objects, he also engraved decorations on the silver at his customer's request, such as monograms or family crests, for which he charged extra. He also used his skill to engrave copper and other metals for printing. On a small printing press in his shop, Revere produced thousands of prints, such as the money he engraved and printed for the State of Massachusetts. He also printed advertising pieces such as labels for clocks and hats, as well as illustrations for books, magazines and newspapers. One of his most famous engravings is his depiction of the Boston Massacre of March 1770." [The Paul Revere House]. . . . - Works in Museums and Art Galleries

Gilbert Stuart - (1755-1828) - "The most successful and resourceful portraitist of America's early national period, Gilbert Stuart possessed enormous natural talent, which he devoted to the representation of human likeness and character. . . . . (Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY) -- "Gilbert Stuart was the preeminent portraitist in Federal America. He combined a talent for recording likeness with an ability to interpret a sitter's personality or character in the choice of pose, color and style of clothing, and setting. He introduced to America the loose, brushy style used by many of the leading artists of late eighteenth century London. He recorded likenesses of lawyers, politicians, diplomats, native Americans, their wives and children. His sitters included many prominent Americans, among them the first five presidents, their advisors, families, and admirers. He is known especially for his numerous portraits of George Washington." [NGA] - "Likely America's best-known portrait painter, Gilbert Stuart is difficult to track biographically because so many parts of his life have been embellished or cloaked by his biographers who have romanticized the life of this man so associated with the portraits of George Washington. And he also, he told untrue, embellished stories about himself. Stuart was, in fact, a temperamental, hard-living man who lived way beyond his means, which left him and his family in impoverished circumstances. He was the son of a snuff-mill owner in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. When the mill failed, the Stewart family moved to Newport, Rhode Island where the young Gilbert took early training from local portraitist Samuel King. In 1769, his early talent for drawing was recognized by Cosmo Alexander, with whom he traveled in the Southern Colonies and then to Edinburgh, Scotland. But Alexander died, and the penniless Stuart had to work his way back to America as a seaman. He completed several portraits of Newport persons including Frances Malbone. In 1775, on the eve of the Battle of Bunker Hill, he again sailed, this time to London where he worked as a church organist because American colonial artists were not then well received in England. From 1777, he spent five years studying art with expatriate court painter, Benjamin West who taught Stuart many of the skills he acquired in portrait painting, especially the painting of realistic, animated faces--glowing light against dark background-- for which he became noted. It was a revival of the style of Rembrandt. However, it was a full-length portrait of a Scotsman, William Grant, as a skater that made Stuart's reputation in England when the painting was exhibited in 1782 at the Royal Academy. Later it was mistakenly attributed to Sir Henry Raeburn. After this success, Stuart had many commissions and was perceived to be in the same league as Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. But he became overwhelmed by debts, and in 1787, went to Dublin, Ireland, where he continued his habit of collecting and quickly spending his portrait fees before completing the work. In 1792, he returned to America and became the most highly regarded portraitist of his day with nearly everyone in prominence in the government becoming one of his subjects. Always low on money and known for erratic behavior, which some attributed to his genius, he remained ever pursued by his creditors. He is buried in Boston in an unmarked paupers grave."- (AskArt - Credit: Matthew Baigell, "Dictionary of American Art") . . . . . The Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Museum in Saunderstown, Rhode Island "is a multifaceted attraction that takes one on a journey back in time. Not only is it a showplace for reproductions of the works of one of America's foremost portrait painters, it is an authentically restored and furnished workingman's home and the site of the first snuff mill in America." - Paintings in Museums and Art Galleries

John Trumbull (1756-1843) - "Born in Lebanon, Connecticut, John Trumbull is one of America's best-known Colonial portrait and history painters. He is especially noted as the person who documented in his paintings the founding fathers of America and the history of the American Revolution. One of his most famous paintings is titled "Declaration of Independence". Trumbull was the son of the Governor of Connecticut and grew up in privileged circumstances, showing an early talent for art. He graduated from Harvard University in 1773 at age 17, the youngest person in his class. He served 18 months in the Continental Army, and in 1777 began painting portraits in Boston. His teacher and good supporter was John Singleton Copley, whose open, realistic style Trumbull adopted. In 1780, he went to London and studied with Benjamin West, expatriate American painter. Several months later he was jailed, being used by the British to retaliate for a crime in American against one of their citizens, Major John Andre, but Trumbull was allowed to continue painting in jail. In 1785, he was in New York City, and from 1789, he lived back and forth between America and England until 1816 when he settled in New York. A childhood accident had blinded Trumbull in one eye, which affected his spatial management of large canvases, but he was credited with being a master of paintings done on a smaller scale. His painting, "Declaration of Independence", was only 30 inches in width, but it had depictions of the 48 signers of the Declaration. Trumbull also did miniature portraits of these historical figures. He served as President of the revived American Academy of Fine Arts and did murals for the Capitol, commissioned in 1817. The National Academy of Design was founded by artists who rebelled against Trumbull in his position at the American Academy because he was perceived as undemocratic and snubbing of artists who did not have "gentlemen" credentials. His personality caused such a deep division that a group led by Samuel Morse founded the rival National Academy of Design. Trumbull lived to age 88 and died in 1843 in New York City. He and his artist wife, Sarah Hope Harvey, are buried beneath the current Yale University Art Gallery, which houses the collection of the artist. (Credit: Michael David Zellman, "300 Years of American Art" and Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art" - 'The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, 17 June, 1775' and other works by Trumbull at the MFA, Boston - Works in Museums and Galleries

Washington Allston - (1779-1843) - "Achieving an international reputation as a romantic painter, poet and art philosopher, Washington Allston did painting in a dark, wild, mystical, lofty style. His many years spent abroad became a major influence for American artists to study in Europe. He also affected the changing image of United States artists from being slightly disreputable artisans to romantic, poetic idealists."[AskArt] . . . . Works in the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC . . . . The first painting acquired in 1870 by The Boston Museum of Fine Arts was 'Elijah in the Desert', by Washington Allston, American painter and author. Originally from Georgetown, SC, he studied at Harvard in Cambridge before many years of study in Euope. He studied at the Royal Academy in London with Benjamin West and settled in Rome --He became friends with Washington Irving, Samuel Coleridge and other well-known Americans living abroad. - "By 1818, he was settled in Boston, and lauded as the nation's top artist. However, the demand for history painting was minimal, and he turned to smaller works, both figural and landscape, many of them romanticized, pastoral figures in landscapes. His place in American art history is hard to pinpoint. His styles changed from classicism to romanticism, and his subject matter was wide ranging. He had tremendous influence on succeeding generations of artists who admired him for his refined sensibilities and serious, professional approach to fine art."

Chester Harding - (1792-1866) - "As a lad of splendid physique, standing over 6 feet 3 inches, marched as a drummer with the militia to the St Lawrence in 1813. He became subsequently chairmaker, peddler, inn-keeper, and house-painter, painting signs in Pittsburg, Pa., and eventually going on the road, self-taught, as an itinerant portrait painter. From 1826-1830, he resided in Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, in what became known as the Chester Harding House, a National Historic Landmark which now houses the Boston Bar Association." - (Wikipedia) - Works at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC - (Other works listed at Artcyclopedia)

Fitz Henry Lane (1804-1865) - "The son of a sailmaker in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Lane spent his life painting the coast of New England. "The sea is his home," wrote a contemporary critic. "There he truly lives, and it is there, in that inexhaustible field, that his victories will be won." This is among the most spare and poetic of Lane's coastal views --small pictures whose horizontal shape emphasizes the line that separates land and sea from an expanse of clear, delicately tinted sky. Although Lane depicts a specific spot in Maine and a specific moment in time, this painting's true subject is light, and its evocative stillness renders it timeless." (MFA, Boston - View Works from the Collection) . . . . "Born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, he became one of America's preeminent marine painters, associated with delicate, brilliantly lit luminist seascapes However, he was not nationally recognized until long after his death. He was crippled by a childhood disease and always walked with crutches. As an artist, he had no formal training until 1830 when he worked for Pendleton's Lithography shop in Boston doing naval architecture drafts and topographical views of Boston and its harbor. After 1835, most of Lane's paintings were light-filled harbor and shoreline views of a variety of places, most of them away from Boston. It is said that by the end of 1840, he had reached his mature style, a highly personal luminism. Boston marine painter, Robert Salmon was a strong influence on his work, and he also cultivated shipping magnate Samuel Cunard as a client and did ship portraits of several Cunard Steamers including the "Unicorn" and the "S.S. Britannia." In 1835, Lane did his own lithographs, the first a panoramic view of Gloucester, and these became quite popular. After 1840, he focused on luminist oil painting, romantic natural marine views that were a reversal of his earlier precise work. He also did portraits. In the 1850s, he pioneered new chemical pigments in red, yellow, orange and also was one of the first to try photography to help his studio painting process." - Paintings by Museums and Galleries

William Morris Hunt (1824-1879) - "Hunt was born on March 31, 1924, in Brattleboro, Vermont and he died at the Isle of Shoals, New Hampshire of an apparent suicide on November 8, 1879. He studied at Harvard University; in Dusseldorf with T. Couture and in Paris from 1847-1853, and in Barbizon with Millet from 1853-1855. From 1850-1870, Hunt was Boston's leading portrait painter and in 1979 the Museum of Fine Arts gave him a retrospective . . . . William Morris Hunt was one of the most famous, well-respected American painters during the early and middle 19th century. His artistic life was observed, revered and followed by every living painter in New York and New England and because of his vast intellect and wisdom regarding fine art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston often followed his suggestions about what to purchase for its collection of European and American art." - [Works by Hunt in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston] . . . . Works in Musems and Galleries

Albert Bierstadt - (1830-1902) - "Born in Solingen, Germany, near Dusseldorf, Albert Bierstadt grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts from the age of two. He returned to Dusseldorf in 1854 for three years of art study, and on his return to New Bedford joined other well-known landscape painters of the day in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The watershed event in Bierstadt's career took place in 1859, when he was invited to join the Lander survey expedition to the Pacific. Overwhelmed by the mountains of the West, he went on to found his career and reputation on large-scale images that made the region seem even more glorious than its impressive reality. Bierstadt's paintings are today widely seen as a prime element in encouraging Western migration and development in the United States. At the height of his career in the 1860s and 1870s, he was perhaps the most successful and renowned painter in America. Examples of his work are included in most major collections of American art." . . . . 'The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak' and other works by Bierstadt in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC . . . . Works in Museums and Galleries

Winslow Homer (1836-1910) - "Homer was born in Boston in a long-established New England family and grew up in nearby Cambridge, where he led an active outdoor life. Encouraged by his parents to pursue an artistic career, he became an apprentice in the Boston lithographic firm of J.H. Bufford at age nineteen. His only formal training consisted of a few drawing classes in Brooklyn, a brief period of study at the National Academy of Design, and a number of private classes with the painter Frederick Rondel in Boston. Winslow Homer is recognized as a dominant figure in nineteenth-century American art and his era's foremost exponent of realism. Based on direct observation, his works of the 1860s and 1870s reveal actualities of American life that went unrecorded by other artists. Homer's art from the 1880s through his death in 1910 dealt primarily with mortality and the forces of nature, conveying these essential themes in potent images in which light, shadow, and composition play powerful expressive roles. Today, Homer remains one of the most esteemed and cherished of American artists of all time . . . . In the summers of 1873 and 1880, he spent time in Gloucester, Massachusetts. It was during his 1873 stay in Gloucester that he first worked in watercolor. He would use the medium for the rest of his career, creating some of the finest watercolors produced in America during his era." [AskArt] - "Homer moved to Prout's Neck, near Portland, on the rocky coast of Maine by 1883. There, for the rest of his life, he painted the sea and those who made their living from it" - Winslow Homer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC) . . . . Winslow Homer at the National Gallery of Art (Washington) . . . . Works in Museums and Galleries

Larkin Mead - (1835-1910). "Mead's career was launched after he achieved notoriety for a snow sculpture of an angel that he did in Brattleboro in January 1856. Two years later he received a commission for a statue of 'Agriculture' for the dome of the new state house, still under construction after a fire destroyed its predecessor in 1857; and in 1859 he won the design competition for a statue of Ethan Allen, a copy of which now stands on the portico of the State House. In 1861 Mead served as a battle-field illustrator for Harper's Weekly. He moved to Italy in 1862 where he worked on other commissions, including the tomb of Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois" [Michael Sherman] - "MEAD, LARKIN GOLDSMITH (1835 ), Americai sculptor, was born at Chesterfield, New Hampshire, on the 3ri of J~nuary 1835. He was a pupil (1853-1855) of Henry Kirk Brown. During the early part of the Civil War he was at the front for six months, with the army of the Potomac, as an artist for Harpers Weekly; and in 1862-1865 he was in Italy, being for part of the time attached to the United States consulate at Venice, while William D. Howells, his brother-in-law, was consul. He returned to America in 1865, but subsequently went back to Italy and lived at Florence. His first important work was a statue of Ethan Allen, now at the State House, Montpelier, Vermont. His principal works are: the monument to President Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois; Ethan Allen (1876), National Hall of Statuary, Capitol, Washington; an heroic marble statue, The Father of Waters, New Orleans; and Triumph of Ceres, made for the Columbian Exposition, Chicago. His brother, William Rutherford Mean (1846 ), graduated at Amherst College ~n. 1867, and studied architecture in New York under Russell Sturgis, and also abroad. In 1879 he and J. F. McKim, with whom he had been in partnership for two years as architects, were joined by Stanford White, and formed the well-known firm of McKim, Mead & White."

Daniel Chester French (1850-1931) - "Born in Exeter, New Hampshire, Daniel Chester French, along with Augustus Saint- Gaudens, became one of the leading sculptors of the late 19th Century and a key figure in developing the sculpture collection of living artists for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He was credited with developing a style of naturalism in his sculpture that was a welcome counter to the prevailing neoclassical idealism. Many of his works were large public monuments, and his first major commission in his early 20s was "Minuteman", in 1874, for Concord, Massachusetts. One of his most famous works was "Republic", which was installed at the 1893 World's Columbian Expo at Chicago. His last major piece was the seated Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. French lived in Concord, Massachusetts during his youth and came under the influence of the circle of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Louisa May Alcott. Choosing to become a sculptor, he learned from William Morris Hunt, William Rimmer and John Quincy Adams Ward. He departed from the prevalent neo-classical style and depicted figures in authentic historical garb. In Italy, he studied with Thomas Ball. Returning to the United States, he did many public monument figures such as Abraham Lincoln, his most famous work, which is at the state capitol building in Lincoln, Nebraska." - [AskArt] - "Many 19th-century American artists symbolized the lofty goals and epic history of their proud, young nation with allegorical figures based on classical prototypes. Sculptor Daniel Chester French devoted his career to creating large-scale figures and groups for buildings and monuments like the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The artist sculpted this life-sized study of Truth for the facade of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul. The classicism of this elegant, draped nude is tempered by French's naturalistic approach and mastery of form." [Art Institute of Chicago] . . . . Works in Museums and Galleries

Edmund Tarbell - (1862-1938]) - "Edmund Charles Tarbell is considered the leader of the "Boston School" of artists, a group whose paintings are generally characterized by an Impressionist technique, often depicting single female figures in dark interior settings. Other notable members of the unofficial "Boston School" include Frank Benson, Joseph De Camp, Philip Leslie Hale, and William Paxton. Tarbell was born in West Groton, Massachusetts in 1862. He studied drawing as early as grammar school, and entered the Boston Museum school in 1879. In 1883, Tarbell and his classmate, Frank Benson, set sail for Paris in order to study at the Academie Julian. The two young artists also took time to travel throughout England, France, and Germany. In 1886, Tarbell returned to Massachusetts, settling in Dorchester where he earned a living as a portrait painter. In 1889, Tarbell began teaching at the Boston Museum School, a position he retained until 1912." [AskArt] - Works by Tarbell at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston] . . . . Works in Museums and Galleries

Frank Benson (1862-1951) - "Born in Salem, Massachusetts, Frank Benson was a painter of impressionist seascapes and landscapes, often with figures posed by his wife and children and also numerous hunting scenes. He spent most of his life in the seaport town of Salem and loved trekking through the countryside for his subject matter, especially wildlife. He is credited with making the American sporting print a distinct art form and for being one of the outstanding 20th-century wildlife printmakers. He was a teacher in Portland, Maine at The Society of Art, and in Boston at The Museum of Fine Arts, where he and his good friend Edmund Tarbell established it as a top-notch institution. He studied art in Boston at the Museum School of Fine Arts and in 1883 in Paris with Boulanger and Lefebvre at the Academie Julian during the French Impressionism movement. By the early 1900s, he had a very successful career and was a member of the Ten American Painters, a prestigious group of early impressionists." (ArtMagick) - Works in Museums and Galleries

William Paxton - (1869-1941) - "At the turn of the twentieth century --a time of profound social, economic, and industrial change --Boston artists asserted a renewed ideal of beauty, extolling traditional values of fine drawing, rich color, and idealized compositions. Paxton believed that harmony and beauty were intrinsic to good art, and his paintings are carefully arranged and highly finished. Here, two elegantly dressed women appear to be discussing the implications of a recent gift from a suitor. Like the gold beads they hold, the women are exquisite ornaments in an opulent setting that includes a Japanese screen, a Chinese tunic and porcelain figurine, a Renaissance tapestry, and a copy of a painting by Titian. Paxton (who, like Tarbell, was a teacher at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts) was particularly inspired by the work of the seventeenth-century Dutch painter Jan Vermeer." - Works in Museums and Galleries

Lilian Westcott Hale - (1880-1963) - "Lilian Westcott Hale was born Lilian Clark Westcott December 7, 1881 in Hartford, CT. She first studied with William Merritt Chase and the American Magazine of Art (vol. 19, #2, Feb. 1927, p. 61) states that he was "afraid to interfere with what she was doing" (taken from Dictionary of Artists in the Boston School, see Pierce, Edmund C. Tarbell and the Boston School, 1980, p. 163). She also studied with Edmund C. Tarbell at the Museum School in Boston and with Philip Leslie Hale at the school (who she married at the age of 20). Tarbell, Hale, Chase and Elizabeth Stevens were major influences on Hale's development as an artist and she is (with Gretchen Rogers), perhaps, the finest draftsman of the Boston School students who trained under Tarbell. Typical subject matter included portraiture, genre interiors and outdoor subject animated with figures drawn to perfection and delicately refined in nature. Hale was a member of National Academy (ANA 1927, NA 1931), the Rockport AA, Conn. Academy of Fine Art, Concord AA, Guild of Boston Artists, Portrait Painters, Grand Central Art Galleries, American Federation of art and more . . . . " (Patricia Jobe Pierce, Historian) - Works in Museums and Galleries

James McNeil Whistler - (1834-1903) - "Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, James Whistler became one of the most influential late 19th-century American painters and etchers, although he lived primarily in England. He worked in a wide variety of styles that included Impressionism, Symbolism, and Art Nouveau. He was especially influential in the Tonalist movement and was a catalyst for those who wanted to break away from prescribed academic methods, credited with being the first American modernist to influence European art." (ask art) - Whistler House Museum is the birthplace of the painter and etcher and located in Lowell, MA - Works in Museums and Galleries

Charles Hawthorne - (1872-1930) - "Charles Webster Hawthorne, born in 1872, studied at the National Academy of Design, Art Students League and Shinnecock Summer Art School with William Chase. Hawthorne was a specialist in portraits and genre paintings and set up a colony of artists in Provincetown, MA. Painters came to his Cape Cod School of Art, founded in 1899, of which he was the director until death. Hawthorne was a naturalist painter with an Impressionistic style, staying within the academic traditions that other Modernists rejected. It was several years before Hawthorne's harsh treatment of struggling lifestyles was critically accepted. In 1898, he went to Holland and was influenced by the tonal style of Franz Hals. Hawthorne also painted introspective portraits of women and children with molded, conservative style." - [AskArt] - Works in Museums and Galleries

Cyrus E. Dallin - (1861-1944) - "His most famous work, 'Appeal to the Great Spirit', is in front of the main entrance to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. And Cyrus Dallin was an Olympic archer." (Wikipedia) - "Cyrus Dallin was born in Springville, Utah in 1861 the son of a covered wagon pioneer. The tribe of friendly Ute Indians that came each Spring and Fall to trade with the newly founded town of Springville was incentive to the young man to dedicate himself to Native American subjects. He befriended the Indian boys and grew to admire them and have a tremendous respect for their culture. By 1884 he was sent in Boston to study sculpture with Truman Howe Bartlett. His studies there, and at the Julien Academy in Paris further inspired him to execute his compositions relating the predicament of the American Indian. He was one of the first sculptors to recognize the plight of the American Indian and to devote his life and art to making dramatic and heroic monuments which proclaimed the Indian point of view . . . . The simplicity of his sculptural style with its emphasis on the essentials rather than the decorative gives Dallin's statures a special appeal to the aesthetic taste of the modern world." (Thomas Nygard Gallery) - Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum

Laura Coombs Hills - "Known for miniatures portraits, floral paintings in pastel on ivory and watercolor, as well as oil and pastel landscapes, Laura Coombs Hills was a key person in the revival of miniature painting in America. In 1904, she was awarded a Gold Medal for her miniatures at the St. Louis Exposition, and in 1916, she earned the first Medal of Honor ever given by the Pennsylvania Society of Miniature Painters. She briefly studied at the Cowles Art School in Boston, the New York Art Students League, and with Helen Knowlton but was described as "comparatively self-taught." Her style was called miniature portraiture, something she learned in England in 1893, when she saw examples there. Coombs had a long-time career in Massachusetts where she had a studio in Boston and summered in Newburyport, her birthplace. She painted nearly 400 miniatures between 1890 and 1933, and these works were exhibited in Boston and New York and established her reputation. She painted both ovals and rectangles and used a magnifying glass for the finishing touches. Being prolific, she made a good living because her paintings earned her between $300. and $1000., and this income allowed her to build her own home in Newburyport, Massachusetts. In the 1880s, she was an illustrator for Louis Prang and Company, designing Valentines and other cards, and she also illustrated children's books. She was active in several Boston art organizations and was an Associate of the National Academy of Design from 1906. In 1897, she became the first painter of miniatures elected to the Society of American Artists, and she was founder of the American Society of Miniature Painters. She never married and lived with a sister who kept house for her. As she aged, her eyesight failed, and the demand for miniatures diminished, so she turned to the creation of floral pastels, often making arrangements from flowers in her own garden. Her floral compositions were asymmetrical and the backgrounds often silky in textural appearance."- [Credit: Erica Hirshler, "A Studio of Her Own" and Paul Sternberg, "Art by American Women"] - Image: Works in Museums and Galleries (NYC)

Childe Hassam - "The son of a hardware merchant, Childe Hassam was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1859. His ancestors included a number of sea captains and Revolutionary War patriots. Through his mother, he was related to the novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne and through his paternal grandfather, held ties with the Hunt Family, including the Boston painter William Morris Hunt and the architect, Richard Morris Hunt. After demonstrating an aptitude for drawing during his youth, Hassam became apprenticed to a Boston wood engraver in 1876. He was soon employed locally as a freelance illustrator, becoming a well-known figure in the profession through his work for such journals as "Harper's," "Century," and "Scribner's." Intent on developing his skills as a painter, he took evening classes at the Boston Art Club during 1877-1878 and studied privately with such artists as Dr. William Rimmer and Ignaz M. Gaugengigl. During this early period, Hassam also came under the influence of his kinsman, William Morris Hunt, who introduced him to the aesthetics of the French Barbizon School. His first noncommercial work was in watercolor, a medium that he would continue to favor for the rest of his career. Hassam made his first trip to Europe in 1883, visiting England, France, Spain, Italy, and The Netherlands. Returning to Boston, he exhibited sixty-seven watercolors at the galleries of Williams & Everett to much critical acclaim. He then began to paint the streets and parks of Boston, often depicting them under rainy or overcast skies. At that time, he employed an essentially tonalist palette of quiet browns and greys, his concerns revolving around the portrayal of light and atmospheric perspective. Hassam made a second trip abroad in 1886, spending most of the next three years in Paris. Although he attended classes at the Académie Julian, the most formative experience of this journey leading to his eventual assimilation of Impressionist tenets. While in Paris, Hassam showed successfully at a number of exhibitions, including the Paris Salon, the Exposition Universelle (where he received a bronze medal) and at the noted Galerie Georges Petit. Returning to America in the fall of 1889, Hassam settled in New York City. He continued to pursue his interest in Impressionism, quickly developing a style characterized by brilliant light, vivid color and shimmering brushwork yet still reflecting his concern for descriptive realism. During the summer of 1890, he made his first visit to Appledore, one of the small islands off the New Hampshire coast. He continued these annual excursions for over twenty years, producing what the scholar Donelson Hoopes has referred to as works that "possess a conviction and palpability of light and atmosphere that transformed this unremarkable little island into an American Etretat."(1) By the early 1900's, critics such as Albert Gallatin were proclaiming that Hassam was "beyond any doubt the greatest exponent of Impressionism in America."(2) Throughout the course of his career, Hassam explored such subjects as New York street scenes, New England landscapes, interior genre subjects and during the first world war, his famed series of flag paintings. In 1904, 1908 and 1914, he made trips to the American West, painting in California and Oregon, where he was deeply inspired by the clear blue skies and the rolling landscape. In some of his later work, he began to experiment with pure color, simplified compositions and elongated brushwork, reflecting his awareness of Post-Impressionist design principles. After 1915, he developed an interest in printmaking, etching in particular. He quickly acquired a firm command of graphic techniques, which he pursued with skill and acumen, for the rest of his life. Childe Hassam remained an influential and prolific artist throughout his career. In 1898, he helped found the Ten American Painters, a group of artists who seceded from the Society of American Artists in order to show their work in small, non-juried exhibitions held annually form 1898 until 1918. The membership consisted of such eminent painters as John Henry Twachtman, J. Alden Weir and Thomas Dewing. Hassam was also affiliated with the New York Water Color Club, which he helped establish, the American Water Color Society, and the Pastel Society of New York. He was a regular contributor to the exhibitions of the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Carnegie International. . . . " (AskArt) - Works in Museums and Galleries

John Singer Sargent - "Recognized as the leading portraitist in England and the United States at the turn of the century, John Singer Sargent was acclaimed for his elegant and very stylish depictions of high society. Known for his technical precocity, he shunned traditional academic precepts in favor of a modern approach towards technique, color and form, thereby making his own special contribution to the history of grand manner portraiture. A true cosmopolite, he was also a painter of plein air landscapes and genre scenes, drawing his subjects from such diverse locales as England, France, Italy and Switzerland. In so doing, Sargent also played a vital role in the history of British and American Impressionism. Sargent was born in Florence in 1856. He was the first child of Dr. Fitzwilliam Sargent, a surgeon from an old New England family, and Mary Newbold Singer, the daughter of a Philadelphia merchant. His parents were among the many prosperous Americans who adopted an expatriate lifestyle during the later nineteenth century. Indeed, Sargent's family traveled constantly throughout the Continent and in England, a mode of living that enriched Sargent both culturally and socially. He ultimately became fluent in French, Italian and German, in addition to English. Having developed an interest in drawing as a boy, Sargent received his earliest formal instruction in Rome in 1869, where he was taught by the German-American landscape painter Carl Welsch. Following this, he attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence during 1873-74. . . . . Sargent's American patrons were drawn to his distinctive style. However, his solid New England ancestry also worked to his advantage, helping him to establish connections in upper class society. Interest in his work in Boston was given further impetus by a solo exhibition of his paintings at the St. Botolph Club in 1888. Two years later, Sargent became involved with the mural decorations for the Boston Public Library, a project that would occupy him until 1919. He went on to execute murals for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (1916-25) and for the Widener Library at Harvard University (1921-22). At the same time that he was moving to the forefront of portraiture, Sargent was also forging a reputation as a painter of Impressionist landscapes and genre subjects. . . . . " - [This biography was submitted by Spanierman Gallery, LLC - AskArt - Paintings in Museums and Art Galleries

John Enneking - "John Joseph Enneking (1841-1916) was born in Ohio in 1841 and was orphaned at a young age. He began to paint at the age of five and developed a natural talent before travelling East to New York and Massachusetts. He trained in Germany, Italy and France and he was the first American to return from Paris in 1874 after having painted with Claude Monet, Pissarro and Renoir in Monet's gardens at Argentueil (where Enneking painted Monet's wife and child). Because Enneking was an influential Boston painter, he spoke to many artists about the innovations of the French Impressionists and because of him hundreds of Boston area painters sailed for Paris to study in France. Although he exhibited all over the U.S. and Europe, Enneking was his own man and did not like becoming a member of clubs or organizations that promoted artists. He became one of the most sought after American landscape painters in the U.S. and was Boston's Park Commissioner for many years. In 1916, before his death in Boston, a dinner in his honor was attended by hundreds of artists and he was crowned with a wreath of laurel. Enneking is unfairly called "the painter of New England sunsets," probably because he is one of the only painters who can effectively paint sunsets in a realistic manner. However, he commonly painted en plein aire on locations in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York and critics have claimed his canvases are so refined that it looks as if "he painted with crushed jewels." The most sought after canvases by Enneking are those which predate 1875 and his apple blossom canvases in which light sparkles within small daubs and dashes of impressionistic brushwork. In 1972 the first biography of the artist was written and published by Patricia Jobe Pierce, "John Joseph Enneking, American Impressionist" and she is compiling the artist's Catalogue Raisonne." [AskArt] - Works in Museums and Galleries

Philip Hale - "Philip Leslie Hale (American, 1865-1931): Hale was born May 21, 1865 in Boston the son of the famous Reverend Edward Everett Hale. He studied with Edmund C. Tarbell at the Museum School, Boston and privately with William Merritt Chase before studying with J. Alden Weir, Kenyon Cox. Knowing how to paint competently before he went abroad, he first studied at the Arts Student League before sailing for Paris to study at the Academie Julian with Doucet and Lefebvre and at the Ecoles des Beaux Arts. When he returned to Boston he again took painting instruction from Tarbell (1906), who was considered the leader of the Boston school of Painting. While he was a student of Tarbell's, he began a teaching career at the Museum School (1893-1931) and he became known as a rigid disciplinarian who was exceedingly lucky to be married (June 11, 1902) to the multi-gold medal winner Lilian Westcott Hale (who some felt out painted her husband). Hale was highly influenced by Tarbell and by virtue of Tarbell's teachings by the sunlit interiors of Vermeer, the realism of Ingres and Gerome and the impressionism of French masters Sisley and Pissarro. Hale's light-filled plein air subjects are reminiscent of some of Pissarro's 1890s landscapes in which small strokes of color are quickly applied with a thick impasto. . . . " - [AskArt]

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)- "America's most beloved illustrator of the twentieth century, Norman Rockwell is renowned for his depictions of daily life in small town and rural America . . . . He grew up in New York. In 1908, he began commuting to New York City to study at the Chase School of Fine and Applied Art, and at the age of fifteen he quit high school to enroll in classes at the National Academy of Design. However, finding the Academy's curriculum geared towards training the fine artist rather than the illustrator, he left a year later and enrolled at the Art Students League, studying anatomy under George Bridgman and illustration with Thomas Fogarty. In addition to honing his skills in drawing and painting the figure, Rockwell was introduced to the illustration work of Howard Pyle, whose emphasis on historical themes, as well as his penchant for detail and accuracy, exerted a profound influence on the young artist. . . . . Rockwell moved to Arlington, Vermont in 1939. He remained in Vermont until 1953, when he settled in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, his home for the remainder of his life. During the final phase of his career, Rockwell took his art in a new direction. Moving away from the nostalgic subjects of the past, he depicted contemporary people and events for "Look" magazine, often exploring issues relating to politics, school integration, racism and America's space program. [Biography submitted by Spanierman Gallery, LLC - [AskArt] - Norman Rockwell Museum



Itinerant Folk Artists

Asahel Powers - (1813-1846). Born in Springfield, Vermont, he was an itinerant folk portraitist who traveled across the country from Vermont to Illinois, leaving portraits in many communities. Little is known about his early life, except that he began painting at about age 18 and traveled in the Northeast states. His early work was on wood panels, but by the 1830s, when he was traveling farther, he switched to canvas for ease of portability. He was not skilled with modeling the figure, and often hands are drooping and seem deformed. His figures invariably had still-life props and rich, detailed clothing. Towards the end of his life, he lived in Olney, Illinois where he died, likely in 1846. - [AskArt]

Erastus Salisbury Field - (1805-1900). "Born in Leverett, Massachusetts, he kept his home most of his life in that state but did study briefly with Samuel F.B. Morse in New York City where he lived from 1842 to 1848. He was a folk portrait artist with little modeling skill, but is remembered for the social idealism exhibited by his subjects. Unlike many of his peers who painted faces on pre-painted bodies, he did the faces first and the clothing addressed social position. He also did historical subjects, one of them being an American Centennial commemoration for Springfield, Massachusetts. He was also known for his scenes from classical mythology and Biblical history. His wife was artist, Phebe Gilmore, who exhibited as Mrs. P. G. Field at the American Institute in New York City. The Fields lived first in Hartford, Connecticut, then in Monson and Palmer, Massachusetts from around 1832 to 1842. From 1842 to 1848 they lived in New York City. While in New York City he began to work with more difficult subject matter, producing "The Embarkation of Ulysses" (c. 1844). In New York City he also became associated with the daguerreotypist Abram Bogardus, and on his return to Massachusetts in 1848 began advertising himself as a daguerreotypist. Using these skills, he based his portraits on photographs, and he also made hand-colored photographic portraits. After 1848, most of his paintings were biblical or historical subjects, sometimes adapted or copies from prints. Returning in 1848 to Massachusetts, they lived for a time in Leverett and then Palmer before finally settling in Sunderland in 1859, the year of Mrs. Field's death. Field continued to paint until after 1876, during which time he completed his most ambitious and well-known work, the grand "Historical Monument to the American Republic" (9' x 13') painted for the American centennial. The artist lived on in Sunderland until his death in 1900 at the age of 95. Credit: Groce & Wallace, 'The New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America" Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art" [AskArt] - Metropolitan Museum of Art [NYC]

William Jennys - (fl 1793-1807). With birthplace unknown, William Jennys was painting portraits in the vicinity of New Milford, Connecticut in the mid-1790s, then New York City, and after 1800 in the Connecticut River Valley into Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire. His work distinguished by figures in oval formats strongly resembled that of painter Richard Jennys, and it is possible that they were related, possibly brothers who emigrated from England, and there remains confusion between the artists. The portraits of William Jennys with their strong, pictorial style and appearance of direct light combined with shadow influenced other Connecticut artists such as Simon Fitch and Reuben Moulthrop. He was unskilled with arms and legs and usually avoided showing them. An example of William's work is "John Bancroft" (1801, Westfield Atheneum, Massachusetts). Credit: Matthew Baigell, "Dictionary of American Artists" David Michael Zellman, "300 Years of American Art" [AskArt] . . . . Richard Jennys - (active circa 1766-1801) was an itinerant New England portraitist likely related to William Jennys, active circa 1790-1805). "Richard first appears as the author of a mezzotint of the Reverend Jonathan Mayhew of Boston, Massachusetts in 1766. A mature work, slightly inferior to prints by Peter Pelham, it suggests that Richard may have been trained as an engraver; however, no other prints by him have been found. In 1783, he was in Charleston, South Carolina, after a trip to the West Indies, for he advertised himself there as a painter of portraits and miniatures. He remained in Charleston about a year before moving to Savannah, Georgia, where he lived until about 1790. "He next appeared in New Haven, Connecticut in 1792, and, later in the decade, painted at least eleven portraits in the New Milford, Connecticut area. These portraits, oval for the most part, are in the itinerant tradition. Likenesses are keen, personalities are carefully studied, but forms are rigid, edges are crisp, details are exaggerated, and no atmospheric envelope surrounds the subjects. Jennys surfaces are especially thin. Examples include "Elizabeth Canfield" (1794, Litchfield Historical Society, Connecticut) and "Elisha Bostwick" (1799, New Milford Historical Society, Connecticut). Credit: Matthew Baigell, "Dictionary of American Artists" [AskArt]

Ammi Philips - (1788-1865). Born in Colebrook, Connecticut, his earliest portraits dates from 1811. But it was not until 1958 that researchers matched his work with that of what had been called the Kent-Border Limner. He was self-taught, although it is thought he was influenced by the painting of Reuben Moulthrop. Phillips worked in New York and Connecticut on the Border Country, hence his name Border Limner. He married in 1813 and lived in Troy, New York. After his wife died, and he remarried, he lived in Poughkeepsie, Amenia, and Northeast in Duchess County. His style is primitive, and he did numerous full-length portraits, often in light, pearly hues. - [AskArt]

Horace Bundy - (1814-1883). "Horace Bundy--painter of portraits, genre, and animals---was born on July 22, 1814 in Hardwick, VT and died in 1883 in Concord, NH. He was basically a self-taught, itinerant artist who started his career decorating sleighs and then went on to painting portraits of northern New Englanders. As many artists of his day, Bundy went to live and work in the new, thriving industrial city of Lowell, Massachusetts. In 1837, just one year after Lowell was incorporated as a city, Bundy married Louisa Lockwood. A few years after their marriage the Bundys moved to Springfield, VT and lived in a house built for them by Louisa's father. In 1842 Horace became a licensed Adventist preacher. To support a wife and eight children, he traveled around the New England area during the 1840s and 1850s, mainly Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, preaching and painting. The reverse side of Bundy's portraits usually bears his signature, subject, and date. Very often Bundy included the place where the picture was painted. The information he provided has been a great source for chronicling his travels. It is known that during the 1840s and 1850s Bundy visited Claremont, Nashua, Hancock, and Fitzwilliam, NH; Townsend and Springfield, VT; and Winchendon, MA. In 1863 he was appointed pastor of the Second Advent Church in Lakeport, NH. During the 1870s he only painted a few portraits of his family members using photographs as reference. Bundy made a painting trip to Jamaica in 1883 and shortly after his return to Concord, NH, he died of typhus. 109 paintings by Horace Bundy are listed with the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System. His work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; the Danbury Scott-Fanton Museum and Historical Society in Danbury, CT; the Londonderry Historical Society in Londonderry, NH; the Potsdam Public Museum in Potsdam, NY; the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT; the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT; the Springfield Art and Historical Society in Springfield, VT; the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, NJ; the Fitzburg Historical Society in Fitchburg, MA; the Essex County Historical Society in Elizabethtown, NY; the Northborough Historical Society in Northborough, MA; Smith College in Northampton, MA; the Heritage Plantation of Sandwich in Sandwich, MA; Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA; Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH; the Newark Museum in Newark, NJ; the Albany Institute of History and Art in Albany, NY; the New York State Historical Association in Cooperstown, NY; the Nashua Historical Society in Nashua, NH; and the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA. -- References: Davenport's Art Reference 2001/2002, page 317; Mallett Supplement, page 39; Dealer's Choice Biographical Encyclopedia of American Painters, page 197; Smithsonian Institution Research Information System; National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue." [AskArt]

Aaron Dean Fletcher - (1817-1902). "Aaron Dean Fletcher was born in Springfield, Vermont. He was a self-taught artist, who began his career in the Springfield area, from about 1835 to 1839, by painting neighbors and friends. By 1840 he had moved to Keeseville, New York; around 1856, like many itinerant artists of the time, Fletcher traveled west to Indiana. He returned after a year to New York, where he continued to earn a meager living as an artist of naive portraits, and an occasional landscape. He died in Keeseville in 1902." [Sotheby's New York ]

Early American Artists at the Worcester Art Museum - Splendid resource with many New England itinerant artists.

Early American Artists in the Collections Database of Five Colleges and Historic Deerfield Museum Consortium






NOTEBOOK | Links

Copyright

The contents of this site, including all images and text, are for personal, educational, non-commercial use only. The contents of this site may not be reproduced in any form without proper reference to Text, Author, Publisher, and Date of Publication.