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Bruce Museum adds coastal scene by Alfred Thomas Bricher to permanent collection
Alfred Thomas Bricher (American 1837-1908); Coastal Scene, n.d.; Oil on canvas, 17 x 36 in.; Collection of the Bruce Museum, 2014.01; Photograph by Joseph Bartolomeo, courtesy of Shannon's Fine Art Auctioneers.

GREENWICH, CONN.- The Bruce Museum has acquired and installed Coastal Scene by Alfred Thomas Bricher, a well-known nineteenth-century American landscape artist. The painting, which currently hangs behind the information desk in the front lobby of the Museum, is a fine example of luminist painting.

Alfred Thomas Bricher (American 1837-1908) is well regarded for his mastery of the luminist style, exploring expansive, panoramic views, with brilliant effects of light and translucency. He was a prolific painter of coastal views. The present painting is typical of his seascape paintings, which often feature calm waters with rocky bluffs and long, scalloping beaches in the foregrounds. Bricher had a particular fondness for the seascapes of New England, and although many of his paintings have been topographically identified, Coastal Scene has not. Self-taught, Bricher had several other careers before painting, and it was not until the latter half of the twentieth-century that he was fully recognized. When Bricher died in 1908, his obituary in Art News commented that he “did not receive the notice in the press that the artist’s ability and reputation deserved,” a sentiment shared by today’s scholars of American nineteenth-century painting.

“We are delighted to be able to add the Bricher to our permanent collection,” says Peter C. Sutton, the Bruce Museum’s Executive Director. “It is a fine addition to our holdings of nineteenth-century American landscape painting. But it’s not just our gain,” he adds. “Everything we obtain through private funding becomes the collective property of the citizens of the town of Greenwich. This is something for us all to celebrate.”

The new acquisition complements the Bruce Museum’s permanent collection, which includes a wealth of nineteenth-century impressionist and Hudson River School paintings, many of which are now on view in the Museum’s current exhibition “Pasture to Pond: Connecticut Impressionism” (through June 22nd).

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