THE AMERICAN IMPRESSIONISTS IN THE GARDEN
March 13 – September 6 2010
This exhibition explores the theme of the garden in American art and society of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The exhibition features approximately forty paintings depicting European and American gardens by American Impressionist artists along with four bronze sculptures created by American artists for the garden.
The exhibition is broadly divided into three topical groups: “European Gardens” represents garden images created by Americans abroad, especially in Giverny, France, which captivated so many artists. Mary MacMonnies, for example, rented an old monastery in Giverny, developed the gardens, and produced several paintings of them. Works by Childe Hassam and Ernest Lawson, on the other hand, depict more urban gardens in and around Paris, providing a contrast to the images of Giverny. “Gardens in America” explores the many known gardens painted by American Impressionists, including the art colonies of Old Lyme, Connecticut and Cornish, New Hampshire, and various gardens, from Charleston, South Carolina, to California. “Garden Sculpture,” a third section, was an essential element of garden design, and a few select examples of garden statuary will document this important three-dimensional feature within the garden environment.