Bruce Museum presents Pasture to Pond: Connecticut Impressionism

The Bruce Museum in Greenwich presents Pasture to Pond: Connecticut Impressionism an exibition on view now through June 22, 2014.

The exhibition offers a tour of Connecticut’s landscapes painted by American Impressionist artists including Childe Hassam, J. Alden Weir, John Henry Twachtman, Leonard Ochtman and others.

John Henry Twachtman, (American, 1853-1902) Connecticut Shore, Winter, c. 1893 Oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 30 in. Florence Griswold Museum; Gift of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, 2002.1.143

John Henry Twachtman, (American, 1853-1902)
Connecticut Shore, Winter, c. 1893 Oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 30 in.
Florence Griswold Museum; Gift of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, 2002.1.143

Before the turn of the 20th century, Connecticut was a birthplace of American Impressionism, as artists sought a nearby, rural respite from the burgeoning urban and rapidly industrializing world. While their artistic predecessors, the landscape painters of the Hudson River School, had championed dramatic landscapes of panoramic sweep and awe-inspiring majesty, the artists who came of age after the calamity and chaos of the Civil War sought a more intimate, bucolic and orderly landscape. They found these reassuring views among the farms, rolling hills, rivers and picturesque shoreline of Connecticut.

While steeped in pre-Revolutionary history, Connecticut was readily accessible by train to these escaping urbanites, many of whom had winter studios in New York City. Artists’ colonies sprang up in Cos Cob and Old Lyme and landscapists took to recording favored sites in places like Branchville, Farmington, Mystic and the Litchfield Hills. The names of these artists – John H. Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, and Theodore Robinson – are among the most famous landscapists in American art history.

Drawn from the permanent collection of the Bruce, private collectors, area museums, and the trade, this exhibition speaks to the quality and beauty of this perennially popular art. It also attests to the important role that these landscapes played in helping the country heal and reassert timeless, reassuring values, after an era of wrenching conflict.

The show is generously underwritten by People’s United Bank, a Committee of Honor co-chaired by Leora Levy and Alice Melly, a grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, and the Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund.

This exhibition will be accompanied by a compelling cell phone audio tour guide program, Guide by Cell, generously underwritten by Nat and Lucy Day. The Guide by Cell program for Pasture to Pond: Connecticut Impressionism will include a driving tour of sites in Greenwich that are featured in some of the paintings on view. Easy to follow Guide by Cell instructions will be available at the front admissions desk.

Exhibition Programs:
The Spring 2014 Bob and Pam Goergen Lecture Series
American Impressionism
Thursdays, April 10, May 1, June 12, 2014, 7:30 pm
Dessert reception and open galleries 6:30 – 7:30 pm. Lectures start at 7:30 pm
At the turn of the twentieth century there was a concentration of artists working in Connecticut who came of age in rapidly industrializing world and sought a more intimate, bucolic and orderly landscape. Artists’ colonies sprang up in Cos Cob and Old Lyme and included some of the most famous landscape painters in American art history: John H. Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, and Theodore Robinson. Complementing the exhibition Pasture to Pond: Connecticut Impressionism, this series of lectures will explore the tradition of American landscape painting, the market for Impressionism in America and how it led to a uniquely American version of the style, and the art colonies that were established in Connecticut around the movement.

April 10 – The Evolution of Landscape Painting in America, from the Revolution to the Civil War Dr. Elizabeth Kornhouser, Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Click to purchase tickets

May 1 – Impressionism in America Dr. Erica Hirshler, Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Click to purchase tickets

June 12 – Art Colonies of Connecticut: Cos Cob to Old Lyme Jeffrey Andersen, Director, Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut
Click to purchase tickets

These lectures are generously underwritten by Pamela and Robert Goergen. Members $5, non-members $10 per lecture. Due to the overwhelming popularity of these lectures, reservations with advance payment are requested.

In lieu of online payment please mail check to: Goergen Lectures, Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT 06830
Please specify dates, include number of persons attending, and a phone number. Sorry no credit cards by mail, no refunds, and no wait list for this series.

Manhattanville MFA Creative Writers present Connecticut Impressions
Thursday, April 24, 2014, 7:30 pm. Open galleries from 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Manhattanville College MFA students and alumni will present readings of their own poems and prose works about life in Connecticut. Readers to include Erika Stanley’s dynamic poems on her hometown of Bridgeport; Lisa Breuning’s flash fiction on the Norwalk Maritime Museum’s Jellyfish Room; former Bridgeport resident Eugenie Theall’s Pablo Neruda-inspired oceanscapes; and Greenwich resident Valerie Stauffer’s marvelous short story about Truman Capote’s student days at Greenwich High School. This program is free, reservations suggested by calling the Museum at 203-869-0376.

Film Series: The American Impressionist Scene
Wednesdays, April 23, 30, May 7, 14, 2014, 10:30 am
A four-part film series in conjunction with the exhibition that will explore the tradition of landscape painting in America. Films are free with Museum admission, and followed by coffee and discussion. Reservations can be made by calling 203-869-0376.

April 23: Land & Landscape: Views of America’s History and Culture (26 min.)
April 30: La Belle Epoque 1890 – 1914 (60 min.)
May 7: William Merritt Chase at Shinnecock (26 min.)
May 14: Connecticut: Seasons of Light Cradle of American Impressionism (53 min.)

Painting En Plein-Air with Sean Murtha
Wednesdays, May 14, June 4, and June 18, 2014, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
A series of three discussion and demonstration sessions with master wildlife artist Sean Murtha, the 2013 recipient of Connecticut Audubon’s prestigious Artist of the Year, Birds and Their Habitat award. Come and observe Mr. Murtha’s working process as he shows his artistic techniques and discusses his methods for developing his landscape paintings. The Bruce Museum has commissioned a landscape painting for the permanent collection by Mr. Murtha. Come for this unique and special experience watching a master artist at work! Program is free, but space is limited for each session and reservations are required. Please call the Museum at 203-869-0376.