Impressionism Blooms

A Bed of Poppies, oil on canvas by Maria Oakey Dewing.
Recently I went on vacation with my family to Virginia Beach. In the city of Norfolk is the newly renovated Chrysler Museum. What a treat! Below is some information about the special exhibition that is currently on display.

The Chrysler Museum, in Norfolk, Va. featured works shown below (from top to bottom) Gari Melchers, My Garden, oil on canvas, John Leslie Breck, Garden at Giverny (Monet’s Garden) Oil on canvas and Philip Leslie Hale, The Crimson Rambler, oil on canvas.

The exhibition showcases some of the finest art of the early 20th  century, when gardening was a favorite pastime of the American middle class—inspiring artists to plant their easels outdoors and paint with beautiful results.
Focused on the period 1887 – 1920, the exhibition and catalog tells the story of American Impressionist artists and the growing popularity of gardening as a middle-class leisure pursuit, bringing together paintings,sculpture, books, and stained glass. The opening gallery in the exhibition features American artists in European gardens. Some of the top painters of the day were planting gardens as an easy way to experiment with light and color. More than 70 works by renowned painters  such as: Hugh Henry Breckinridge, Cecilia Beaux, William Merritt Chase, Charles C. Curran, Maria Oakey Dewing, Frederick Carl Frieseke, Daniel Garber, Philip Leslie Hale, Childe Hassam, Violet Oakley, Jane Peterson, Jessie Willcox Smith, John H. Twachtman, Robert W. Vonnoh, and J. Alden Weir are included in the exhibition.

The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887–1920 was organized by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Pa., and was curated by PAFA’s Curator of Historical American Art, Anna O. Marley, Ph.D. The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, Inc., and the Richard C. von Hess Foundation provided leading support for the project, with additional major funding from Bill and Laura Buck, and Christie’s. The exhibition catalogue was awarded a David R. Coffin Publication Grant from the Foundation for Landscape Studies

Follow these painters on a colorful journey from their backyards to the great gardens of the world. Expect to be inspired by warm sunlight, rustling branches, and the exquisite colors of flower petals captured in brilliant strokes.

The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887-1920 is on display, now until September 6th, 2005 at the Chrysler Museum, in Norfolk, Va., and admission is free.


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