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Reading Public Museum Announces American Impressionism: The Lure of the Artists Colony

The Reading Public Museum presents American Impressionism: The Lure of the Artists Colony, on view September 24, 2011 through January 29, 2012.

Edward Willis Redfield, Winter in the Valley, oil on canvas, 36 x 50 in., Reading Public Museum, 1928.68.1

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 Fund. The Reading Public Museum is supported in part by grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Reading Public Museum 500 Museum Road Reading, PA 19611-1425 610-371-5850

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