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Emile A. Gruppé, 1876 - 1978       

October 5 - November 23, 2008


The Rockport Art Association, in partnership with the Spanierman Gallery, LLC, of New York, is presenting the exhibition, "Emile A. Gruppé, 1876 - 1978" featuring over forty paintings from the "Emile A. Gruppé" exhibition held at the Spanierman Gallery in New York City, July 10 to August 30, 2008. In addition to these paintings by Emile, the exhibition will include paintings by his father, Charles P. (1860-1940), and son Robert C. (b. 1944). The exhibition runs from October 5 to November 23, 2008 at the Rockport Art Association, located at 12 Main Street in Rockport, Massachusetts. 

"This is an important show for the Cape Ann art community in many ways," stated Judi Rotenberg, president of the Rockport Art Association. "This exhibition features Emile A. Gruppé's work from sources around the world, direct from its New York debut at the Spanierman Gallery, as well impressive additions. Emile was a very early member of the RAA, making this show especially meaningful to us." Rotenberg adds, "The majority of works in this show are for sale, so this is an opportunity for serious collectors to acquire some of the artists' most prominent and cataloged works. And for the Boston art community, this is a chance to see a fantastic exhibition featuring works by one of the most influential families to have painted on Cape Ann."

A preview and opening gala was held on October 3, 2008 and featured a gallery talk by Charles J. Movalli, local artist, art historian and co-editor of the acclaimed book, "Gruppé on Painting: Direct Techniques in Oil," published in 1977. To commemorate this show, the Rockport Art Association is re-printing a limited number of copies of this book, which Mr. Movalli signed at the opening.The Spanierman exhibition catalog is available for sale.  


About the Artists

This multi-generational family of accomplished painters has helped define the art of Cape Ann for almost a century with their vibrant plein air landscapes. Drawn to the area after seeing the work of contemporaries such as Carl Peters, Frederick Mulhaupt and William Lester Stevens, Charles and Emile first visited Cape Ann in 1925. The natural beauty of Cape Ann, with its seacoasts and seaports, provided the Gruppés with the subjects they loved most -- rocky shorelines, working harbors, quaint towns and snow covered landscapes. Charles and Emile continued to paint on Cape Ann for the rest of their lives, and Robert still maintains a studio in Gloucester's historic Rocky Neck Art Colony.

Emile A. Gruppé was born in Rochester, NY, although he spent much time in Holland, where he developed his love of maritime subjects. Classically trained, he quickly developed his own impressionistic style. His work is known for its bold brushwork, local color and ability to capture a sense of place and atmosphere of his subjects. He was a prolific painter and a beloved and generous teacher who became one of the most prominent members of the Cape Ann art community. In 1929, Emile established a studio in Gloucester's Rocky Neck, and in 1942 he founded the Gruppé Summer School. Although he painted in Jeffersonville, Vermont and Florida, he maintained his primary studio in Gloucester until his death in 1978.

In addition to his father's artistic influence, Emile attended the Carnegie Art School where he studied with George Bridgeman; the Arts Students League, Woodstock NY under John F. Carlson; Provincetown, MA with Charles Hawthorne, Richard Miller, and George Chapman. He entered the U.S. Navy in 1917 and served for a year. He was a member of the Salmagundi Club; North Shore Arts Association; Rockport Art Association; Gloucester Society of Artists; Allied Artists of America; Longboat Key AA; Sarasota AA; Grand Central Art Galleries; Rochester AA; Audubon Artists; Northern Vermont Artists; New Haven Paint & Clay Club; CAFA; Meriden Arts & Crafts; St. Augustine AA; and Academic Artists, Springfield, MA.

Charles P. Gruppé, was a Canadian-born artist, who instilled a love for art in his children. A more traditional landscape painter, he made his living representing the European Barbizon artists' work in America, and he split his time between Holland and New York. He died in 1940, at age 80, in his Rockport summer studio on Bearskin Neck, one he had shared with his son when they first arrived on Cape Ann in the mid-1920's. 

Robert C. Gruppé, a contemporary impressionist painter, was born in 1944. He continues the artistic legacy of his father Emile and grandfather, Charles, in his own evolving personal style which embodies the influences of his heritage and his environment -- Cape Ann and Naples, Florida. He records the impressions of a scene with increasingly powerful brush strokes in his characteristic palette of vibrant colors. His paintings capture the light, movement, and mood of the composition. They share with the observer a story which blends the past and present combining his family tradition with a contemporary need for a personal statement. He maintains his studio and gallery in the historic schoolhouse on Rocky Neck in Gloucester, where his father worked and ran the Gloucester School of Painting. 


About The Rockport Art Association

Founded in 1921 as an artist cooperative and social gathering place for artists and art lovers, the RAA is one of the oldest and most active art organizations in the country. In 1929, the Rockport Art Association found its permanent home at the historic Old Tavern building, 12 Main Street, Rockport, Massachusetts. It now encompasses three buildings, with over 3,000 square feet of beautiful galleries and teaching facilities. Its mission is to promote the art of Cape Ann, past and present, through exhibitions and education. It also regularly exhibits its impressive museum collection, and has published four books on Cape Ann artists. The Association currently includes approximately 250 juried artist and photography members, and over 800 contributing members. 


About the Spanierman Gallery, LLC

For more than half a century, Spanierman Gallery, LLC, has been dedicated to dealing in the finest nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American art. Located at 45 East 58th Street in New York City, the gallery features 12,000 square feet of space and presents exhibitions of the highest quality including works on loan from museums and private collections. The gallery is distinguished for its scholarship and actively supports research in American art. More information may be found at www.spanierman.com



Emile A. Gruppé, 1896-1976 exhibition catalog by Carol Lowrey, Spanierman Gallery, LLC., July 2008; The Gruppé Gallery website (www.GruppéGallery.com); 300 Years of American Art by Michael David Zellman, Plein Air Magazine, September 2005;

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