Published: October 24, 2017
GREENWICH, CONN. – “George Wharton Edwards (1859-1950): Illustrator, Painter, Writer” at the Bruce Museum continues through November 25.
The show features more than 30 paintings, drawings and sketches that spotlight the art of George Wharton Edwards, a turn-of-the-century painter, illustrator and author who lived in Greenwich. Edwards was celebrated in his own day as a talented artist for his depictions of picturesque American and European scenes in a variety of media.
“The works assembled here from the Bruce Museum’s extensive collection, show that Edwards preferred an underlying technical draftsmanship in his works on paper and a more fluid treatment, in the manner of American Impressionism, in his oils on canvas,” notes Courtney Skipton Long, PhD, guest curator and former Bruce Museum Zvi Grunberg resident postdoctoral fellow.
“Together, these works offer a glimpse into the proficiency of one of Greenwich’s most notable local artists,” Long explains, “by highlighting Edwards’ artistic diversity as an illustrator, painter and writer.”
Born in Fair Haven, Conn., Edwards grew up drawing on makeshift canvases – façades of barns, stone well-curbs, and wooden doghouses – before he moved to France in the early 1880s to study with the academic painter, Jacques-Eugéne Feyen (1815-1908). From Paris, Edwards frequently traveled to other major cities to paint and sketch. In 1884, he returned to the United States and eventually settled in Greenwich, where he often revisited his European architectural drawings of Belgium, England, France and Italy, as source material for the books he wrote and illustrated, such as Vanished Halls and Cathedrals of France (1917). By the early Twentieth Century, Edwards became close friends with the American Impressionists associated with the Cos Cob Art Colony and the Greenwich Society of Artists. He was a founding member and long-time secretary for the latter.
The Bruce Museum is at 1 Museum Drive. For more information, www.brucemuseum.org or 203-869-0376.
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