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Changing Seasons: Three Generations of Bucks County Impressionism


In the early 20th century, a group of artists rooted in the American Realist tradition and influenced by French Impressionism worked closely together in New Hope, Pennsylvania, some 40 miles north of Philadelphia on the Delaware River. Many of these artists met while attending the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and later moved to Bucks County. They found the natural beauty of the Delaware River and its surrounding hills ideal subjects for a new, loosely brushed style of painting. Widely known as the New Hope School, their work is featured in Changing Seasons: Three Generations of Bucks County Impressionism, an exhibition of 16 paintings from the holdings of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a private collection.

Changing Seasons is on view through December 5,1999, in American Gallery 119 on the Museum's first floor.

Although members of the New Hope School also painted figures and interiors, they are best known for fresh interpretations of landscapes, which continue to inspire contemporary Bucks County artists. The Pennsylvania Impressionists painted outdoors, directly from nature, even during severe weather. Edward Redfield (1869-1965) and Charles Rosen (1878-1950) are best remembered for their snow scenes, a wintry specialty that required ingenuity in response to inclement conditions--on windy days, for example, Redfield simply strapped has canvases directly to trees.

While he also spent most of his time painting landscapes, Daniel Garber (1880-1958) was equally noted for his large figure compositions and interiors, often depicting close friends and family members. The Orchard Window (1918) and Morning Light, Interior (1923), depict Garber's daughter Tanis. Both paintings are complemented by bold, hand-carved and gilded frames made by Frederick Harer (1880-1949), who worked closely with painters of the New Hope School.

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For further biographical information on selected artists cited in this article please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 10/18/10

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