Published: October 30, 2001
NEW YORK CITY – Debra Force Fine Art announces its fall exhibit, “Town and Country: Views of American Life from 1830-1960,” featuring paintings, watercolors and drawings that explore the inspiration American artists have drawn from their native surroundings.
The exhibit will be on view November 5 through 30 at The Art Gallery of the Union League Club, 38 East 37th Street.
Foremost in the display are two genre scenes from the late Nineteenth Century. “A Winter’s Tale of Sprites and Goblins,” a literary work from 1886, is Dennis Miller Bunker’s largest known figurative painting and was inspired by The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s comedy that includes the line, “A sad tale is best for winter, I have one of sprites and goblins.”
Edward Lamson Henry’s “On the Towpath,” 1891, depicts a young girl walking along the Delaware and Hudson Canal, a favorite subject appearing in Henry’s work during the 1880s. This painting holds the distinction of having been exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893.
Other depictions of children include Thomas Sully’s “Portrait of Robert Field Stockton,” 1849, representing the oldest son of John Potter Stockton and Sara Stockton (nee Marks), age two or three, from Princeton, N.J. Mary Cassatt’s “Head of Robert, Aged 9 (No. 2),” 1882, is a portrait in pastel of the artist’s nephew, Robert Kelson Cassatt, and was once owned by the distinguished Washington collector Chester Dale.
Works by Seymour Joseph Guy, Maurice Brazil Prendergast and Richard E. Miller feature American women at work and at play. Guy’s “Needlepoint” depicts a young woman seated at a table doing her stitching. “Grey Day,” circa 1905-07, by Prendergast presents a lady of leisure overlooking sailing ships along the Massachusetts coast, while “Afternoon Tea,” painted circa 1920 by Miller, depicts a young woman serving tea in a sunlit interior.
Several artists represented brought new vision to the art world in their interpretation of nightclubs, circuses and amusement parks, Vaudeville, subways and burlesque shows. Included in this category are Charles Demuth’s “In Vaudeville: Man and Woman with Chorus,” 1916, and Reginald Marsh’s “Chorus Girls,” 1944. Fascination with the circus is evident in Reynolds Beal’s “Circus Day, Gloucester.”
Beginning in the Nineteenth Century and well into the Twentieth Century, the American landscape, both urban and rural, has provided vast subject matter for American artists. Among the site-specific landscapes painted in the academic tradition are John Williamson’s “Fall in the Adirondacks,” 1871, George Henry Smilie’s “Trees and Meadow of Berkshire,” 1871, and Russell Smith’s “A Pond Near Winnipesaukee Lake, New Hampshire.” A rare example by Ralph Albert Blakelock shows Rip Van Winkle wandering the Catskill Mountains.
Many of America’s Impressionist landscape painters settled in the regional art colonies of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Works by William Chadwick, Wilson Henry Irvine, Frederick John Mulhaupt and Harry Aiken Vincent, depict scenes of Old Lyme, Essex, Gloucester and Rockport.
Paintings by Walter Emerson Baum, John Fulton Folinsbee and Kenneth Nunamaker feature the landscape of Bucks County.
Representing the Modernists are George Copeland Ault’s “Provincetown Waterfront,” 1921, Oscar Bluemner’s “Church in Newark, South of Mercer Street,” 1925, and John Marin’s “Black River Valley, Castorland, New York,” 1913.
Seascapes, and yachting and racing views by some of America’s most prominent marine painters are also featured. James Edward Buttersworth’s “The Henrietta” is a depiction of the champion schooner from The Great Ocean Race of 1886.
In the monumental work “Shipping off the Coast,” Mauritz Frederik Hendrik De Haas focuses on the unique drama of the sea and America’s vast array of merchant sailing vessels. Oils, watercolors and drawings by William Trost Richards from the collection of the artist’s grandson, round out the variety of seascapes available.
Several views of New York City include “In Madison Square,” 1920, by Guy Carleton Wiggins and Edmund William Greacen’s “Old Post Office Building, New York,” 1916. Ernest Lawson’s “House by a River, Spuyten Duyvil” depicts one of the artists’ best-known subjects – snow covered hills and trees along the upper Hudson River. Joseph Henry Sharp is represented by “The Flagships Connecticut and Kansas on the Hudson,” 1910, a subject reminiscent of works by George Bellows and the Ashcan School.
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