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Robert Lewis Reid (American, 1862 – 1929), Summer Breezes, oil on canvas

Reading Public Museum, Museum Purchase, 1931.641.1

Arthur Watson Sparks (American, 1870 – 1919), Le Quai Sainte-Catherine, Martigues, oil on board, Reading Public Museum, Museum Purchase, 1919.1010.1


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610.371.5850 x234



This extraordinary exhibition, drawn entirely from the collection of the Reading Public Museum, explores the path to Impressionism through the nineteenth century and the complex relationship between French Impressionism of the 1870s and 80s and the American interpretation of the style in the decades that followed.

More than sixty-five paintings and works on paper help tell the story of the new style of painting which developed at the end of the nineteenth century—one that emphasized light and atmospheric conditions, rapid or loose brushstrokes, and a focus on brightly colored scenes from everyday life.

Some of the artists featured in the exhibition include Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, and Victor Vignon, among others, who exhibited in the official Impressionist exhibitions in Paris in the 1870s and 80s. Among the earliest American artists to embrace the style were John Singer Sargent, William Merritt Chase, John Henry Twachtman, Childe Hassam, and Frank W. Benson. A host of American artists who embraced the style by the turn of the century including Daniel Garber, Edward Redfield, Robert Spencer, Arthur Watson Sparks, Robert Lewis Reid, William Paxton, Chauncey Ryder, Frederick John Mulhaupt, and Guy Wiggins, are highlighted in the exhibition.


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For more information on traveling exhibits please contact Stephanie Shaak at 
610.371.5850 x234 or stephanie.shaak@readingpublicmuseum.org.


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