Editor's note: The New Britain Museum of American Art provided source material to Resource Library for the following article. If you have questions or comments regarding the source material, please contact the New Britain Museum of American Art directly through either this phone number or web address:
Over Life's Waters - The Coastal Art Collection of Charles and Irene Hamm
January 31 - April 12, 2015
For the past several decades, Charles and Irene Hamm have dedicated their time and resources to developing a renowned art collection focused on American coastal art. This winter, the Hamm's labor of love will be displayed at the New Britain Museum of American Art in the exhibition Over Life's Waters - The Coastal Art Collection of Charles and Irene Hamm on view from January 31 to April 12, 2015.
The exhibition consists of approximately 92 artistic works in a variety of media, spanning two centuries of American coastal art and featuring such noted artists as Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), William J. Bradford (1823-1892), William Partridge Burpee (1846-1940), Sears Gallagher (1869-1955), Rockwell Kent (1882-1971), and Paul Pollaro (b. 1971). Visitors may recognize some familiar scenes, as the exhibition highlights several of the most inspirational destinations for artists, notably Monhegan and Mount Desert Islands in Maine and Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Each work in the collection and exhibition has been handpicked by Charles and Irene Hamm. When forming their coastal art collection, the couple decided they would collect works by American painters, alive or dead, in any medium, of any time, which attracted their eyes and emotions. Unlike most collectors who decide to focus on specific periods or styles, the Hamm's have embraced painters working from the early 19th century right through to the present day in an exceptionally wide variety of media and manners.
To state that the Hamm's have been passionate about the sea would be both accurate and revelatory. Charles was born in Brooklyn Heights, a stone's throw from New York's East River. Irene's life as a native Floridian was shaped by her proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. In his youth, Charles studied art, and one of his own paintings, Sunset at Home, 2006, appears in the exhibition. Together, the Hamm's have sailed along several continents and enjoyed owning a series of both sail and power boats. Their Connecticut residence on the Long Island Sound was designed to display their coastal art collection and maximize their views and feeling of connection to the water.
Over Life's Waters - The Coastal Art Collection of Charles and Irene Hamm at the Museum highlights the essence of the ocean and allows visitors to grasp the fundamental significance of coastal waters and how the Atlantic has shaped America. The Hamm's have generously gifted to the Museum their entire coastal art collection, consisting of 165 paintings and $1 million dollars to the Museum's Capital Campaign fund. The Charles and Irene Hamm Gallery will be constructed in a new 17,346 sq. ft. wing, set to open in the fall of 2015. Paintings from the Hamm Collection will also be installed throughout the galleries.
Museum Director, Douglas Hyland states, "We are honored that Charles and Irene Hamm are donating this collection because not only is it a comprehensive examination of coastal subjects, but the individual examples by some of the most accomplished artists of the 19th and 20th century are of exceptional quality." The Museum is extremely thankful to Charles and Irene Hamm for their generosity and thoughtfulness.
Introductory Statement by Douglas Hyland
Resource Library readers may also enjoy:
See America's Distinguished Artists for more biographical information on historic artists cited in the above article.
Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for the New Britain Museum of American Art in Resource Library.
Search Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art.
Copyright 2015 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.