Pasture to Pond: Connecticut Impressionism launched at the Bruce Museum
in Greenwich, CT, on March 22. The exhibition, which runs through June 22, brings American Impressionism back to its roots, according to the Museums Executive Director, Peter C. Sutton.
The history of art proves that Connecticut has long been one of the most fertile states for the creation of new art movements, says Peter Sutton. In no small measure it was the birthplace of American Impressionism.
Drawn from the permanent collection of the Bruce, private collectors, area museums, and the trade, this exhibition of more than 25 works of American Impressionism speaks to the quality and beauty of this perennially popular art, and to Connecticuts important role in its creation.
Before the turn of the 20th century, Connecticut was a logical birthplace for American Impressionism, as artists sought a nearby, rural respite from the burgeoning urban and rapidly industrializing world. While their artistic predecessors, the landscape painters of the Hudson River School, had championed dramatic landscapes of panoramic sweep and awe-inspiring majesty, the artists who came of age after the calamity and chaos of the Civil War sought a more intimate, bucolic and orderly landscape. They found these reassuring views among the farms, rolling hills, rivers and picturesque shoreline of Connecticut.
While steeped in pre-Revolutionary history, Connecticut was readily accessible by train to these escaping urbanites, many of whom had winter studios in New York City. Artists colonies sprang up in Cos Cob and Old Lyme and landscapists took to recording favored sites in places like Branchville, Farmington, Mystic and the Litchfield Hills. The names of these artists John H. Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, Childe Hassam, and Willard Metcalf are among the most famous landscapists in American art history. While some, like Robinson, made regular pilgrimages to France to paint alongside the great French Impressionist Claude Monet, others learned the style second hand, and collectively they made it a uniquely American manner.
Several of the artists featured in the show exhibited in the famous Armory Show in New York in 1913, which is generally regarded as the watershed moment that introduced Modern Art and the likes of Marcel Duchamp to America, says Peter Sutton. It is with pleasure then that we remember with this exhibition an era of enduring local creativity and the celebration of the beauty of our own special corner of New England.
And when you go, dont forget your cell phone: This exhibition, like many others at the Bruce, is accompanied by a compelling cell phone audio tour guide program, Guide by Cell, generously underwritten by Nat and Lucy Day. The Guide by Cell program for Pasture to Pond: Connecticut Impressionism includes a driving tour of sites in Greenwich that are featured in some of the paintings on view. Easy to follow Guide by Cell instructions are available at the front admissions desk, and in the case of this exhibition includes a physical map for the driving tour.