Published: February 8, 2011
Spring begins a bit early in 2011, when “The American Impressionists in the Garden” opens at the Taft Museum of Art February 19 and remains on view through May 15.
Bringing together brilliantly colored paintings of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries, the exhibition features 40 pictures of European and American gardens created by American Impressionists and four bronze sculptures for gardens by American sculptors.
“From Giverny to Boston and Charleston, American painters captured the sensuous pleasures to be found in gardens, ornamenting their canvases with lush blossoms in fuchsia, persimmon and daffodil yellow,” says Lynne Ambrosini, the Taft’s chief curator.
The interactions between the two artistic fields of gardening and painting make up the subject of this exhibition. The Cincinnati audience will be familiar with the artists in the exhibition, including celebrated American artists John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, Gari Melchers, Ernest Lawson, and Frederick Frieseke.
“I had never realized before how much the concepts of garden design influenced concepts of painting †and vice versa †in America around 1900,” say Deborah Scott, Taft director and chief executive officer. “Gardening fed painting, which fed gardening, and so on, in one big fascinating repeat loop.”
American impressionist painters turned their attention to the garden, finding it an ideal subject for the study of light and color in landscape, and they were not alone. This exhibition explores the importance of gardens in American art and society in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries.
The relationships between the gardening movement and the fine arts of painting and sculpture is the focus of this exhibition, which is organized by the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville, Tenn.
The Taft is also showing “American Impressionism in Cincinnati Collections,” on view through April 25. This exhibition includes examples of “American Impressionism.”
The Taft Museum of Art is at 316 Pike Street, downtown. For information, 513-241-0343 or www.taftmuseum.org .
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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