Published: July 10, 2001
English, French and American Paintings Shown by Crane Collection
WELLESLEY, MASS. – Crane Collection opens the summer season with a new exhibition of garden scenes, featuring English, French and American paintings from the Nineteenth Century to the present. The show includes over fifty works, from delicate, small-scale watercolors to life-size oils. The exhibition continues through August 31.
Watercolors by William Cruickshank and oils by George Clare and Vincent Clare, all English painters of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries, depict charming arrangements of birds nests and blossoms or fruits on mossy banks. Every detail is delicately portrayed, in a charming, intimate scale, most 8 by 10 inches or smaller.
In contrast to the delicate English florals, Carl Sprinchorn’s (1887-1971) “Clump of Violets, Shin Pond, Maine” seems ready to burst out of its frame. A student of Robert Henri, Sprinchorn carried forth the bold brushwork of his teacher. In this small paintings (12 by 16 inches) that dates from 1952, deep purple and lavender blossoms are surrounded by a rich variety of vivid green leaves and grasses.
In a painting that departs from his well known floral still lifes, Eugene Henri Cauchois (1850-1911) portrayed a sunny, walled garden alive with bright blooms in reds, pinks and shades of blue. The painting’s surface is animated with many quick brushstrokes that suggest the leaves and grasses. Beyond the high wall in the back of the garden, the outline of rooftops may be glimpsed.
American plein air painter Martha Walter (1875-1976) is represented with two French scenes of the Luxembourg Gardens as well as a still life of summer roses in a vase set before a window. The French scenes are small, 8 by 10-inch paintings, oil n panel. One shows Parisians taking their leisure, seated in small clusters in the dappled shade along a winding path. The other scene, called “From the Balustrade,” depicts a more sweeping view of the garden’s fountains and promenades.
In a daring painting dated 1882, Sarah de St Prix Wyman Whitman (1842-1904) presented a powerful, close-up look at rhododendrons in bloom. Surprisingly bold in composition and execution, the larger-than-life blossoms emerge from a dark tangle of leaves and branches, filling all but one small corner of the canvas. This painting was exhibited at the Boston Art Club in 1882.
The design aspect of the figure in the landscape were important to Helen K. McCarthy (1884-1927), who entitled her garden scene with woman and child simply “Sketch for a Decoration.” The title of this work ties it to the genre of painting popular at that time in which the artist finished a piece on one sitting, giving a very fresh impression of the subject. Painted around 1914, the composition reflects the influence of Art Nouveau. McCarthy was a founding member of the Philadelphia Ten.
Summer Gardens includes works by many outstanding living painters. New works by Greg Harris, Alice Mange, Dennis Sheehan and Jeremiah Streamer, and others, are featured.
The Crane Collection is at 564 Washington Street (Route 16). Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm. For information, 781-235-1166.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm