September 24, 2011 through January 29, 2012
Members Only Opening Reception — Friday, September 23, 5:30 - 8 p.m. Cost: $15
This comprehensive exhibition features, for the first time, one of The Museum's greatest strengths — its collection of works by American Impressionists. The collection of lyrical landscapes, ranging from snow-covered hills to sun-filled harbors and seascapes, penetrating portraits, and remarkable still life paintings documents an important moment in the history of American art. It includes more than 100 total works, including 75 oil paintings and nearly 30 works on paper dating from the 1880s through the 1940s. A wide range of approaches to impressionism, including an abiding interest in capturing the effects of light and atmosphere in compositions, is explored.
Arranged according to the artists' colonies that played a critical role in the development of American Impressionism, this exhibition examines those at Cos Cob and Old Lyme in Connecticut; Cape Cod, Cape Anne, and Rockport, in Massachusetts; New Hope and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; Taos, New Mexico; and throughout California. Within each of these colonies, artists were able to teach, collaborate and escape the daily rigors of their city studios. Often located in scenic locations within striking distance of major cities, artists' colonies served up steady doses of natural beauty and provided ample subject matter.
Leading artists of the movement include William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Ernest Lawson, Julian Alden Weir, John Twachtman, Chauncey Ryder, Frank W. Benson, William Paxton, Abbott Thayer, Guy Wiggins, Charles Webster Hawthorne, Colin Campbell Cooper, Daniel Garber and Edward Redfield, among others. In addition, American expatriate artists such as Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent will be examined.
This exhibition is underwritten by the Marlin and Ginger Miller Exhibition Endowment. The Reading Public Museum is supported in part by grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
To watch the Comcast Newsmakers segment about this exhibition, click here. (YouTube)
To watch the in-gallery video presentation about this exhibition, click here. (YouTube)
To watch our quarterly BCTV program, including a brief in-gallery tour of this exhibition, click here. (BCTV Archives)
American Impressionism Lecture Series
Friday, October 14, 6:00 p.m.
Is There an "Ism" in Pennsylvania Impressionism?
Lecturer: Brian H. Peterson, The Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest Chief Curator, James A. Michener Art Museum
Friday, November 11, 6:00 p.m.
The Feminine Touch: Women Impressionist Painters
Lecturer: Anne Corso, Director of Education, Reading Public Museum
Friday, December 9, 6:00 p.m.
Selling Impressionism: The Changing Marketplace for Impressionist Painting
Lecturer: Ronald Pook, Senior Vice President, Pook & Pook Inc.
Series cost: $45 per Member/$60 per Non-Member; Per lecture cost: $20 per Memb er/$30 per Non-Member
For a downloadable PDF of the flier/registration form, please click here.
For subscribers of this series only, on Friday, November 11, 5:00 p.m., there will be a Private Curator's Tour with Scott Schweigert, Reading Public Museum's Curator of Art & Civilization.
Noontime Knowledge – Food for Thought
Tuesday, November 1, Noon
Yankee Painters: Impressionists of New England
Anne Corso, Director of Education
Lunch & Lecture cost: $5 for Members/$10 for Non-Members
Image: Charles Webster Hawthorne, (American, 1872-1930), A Study in White, n.d., oil on canvas, 36 x 22 inches, Reading Public Museum, 1931.197.1