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March 12 - May 22, 2005


(above: William Merritt Chase (American 1849-1916), Girl in White, circa 1898-1901, oil on fabric, 84 3/8 by 40 inches)


The works of many of America's most important Impressionist painters will be on view in American Impressionism: An Arcadian Vision, Paintings from the Akron Art Museum through May 22, 2005 at the Fresno Metropolitan Museum. The Met is fortunate to be one of only seven hosts in the United States for this remarkable collection. (right: Frank Duveneck, American, born 1848, Covington, Kentucky; died 1919, Cincinnati, Ohio, Miss Molly Duveneck, 1888-1890, Oil on fabric, Bequest of Edwin C. Shaw)

American Impressionism features 35 luminous works spanning the years 1860 to 1917 by turn-of-the century painters who often worked outdoors to capture brilliant effects of light and color. Impressionism began in France in the 1860s, embraced by young artists tired of a conservative realism based on academic rules.

The Impressionists' radical experiments with atmospheric effects, optical relationships between color and light, and brighter palettes greatly influenced a generation of American artists, who absorbed these new approaches to painting, and applied them successfully to American landscapes and portraiture.

"The exhibition American Impressionism gives our audience the unique opportunity to see 35 master works by some of the best-loved American artists from the late 19th century, including William Merritt Chase, Thomas Dewing, Frederick Frieseke and Childe Hassam," said Met Curator of Art Susanneh Bieber. "The works in the exhibition are a delight for the eye: they pride themselves with brilliant colors and luscious brushstrokes capturing the natural play of light; they depict serene landscapes and women engaged in leisurely activities. These artists created an American Eden with paint on canvas."

This exhibition introduces stellar examples of the work of important American Impressionist painters, and encompasses a broad range of subject matter and technical developments which motivated these artists to depart from their studios and paint en plein air . At the same time, studio portraits, elegant figure studies, and still life paintings reveal the virtuosity of American painters of the time, through widely divergent techniques. (right: Charles W. Eaton, American, born 1857, Albany, New York; died 1937, Glen Ridge, New Jersey, November Landscape, 1895-1910, Oil on fabric, Bequest of Edwin C. Shaw)

Artists included are Ralph Albert Blakelock, Emil Carlsen, William Merritt Chase, Elliott Daingerfield, Charles Harold Davis, Charles Melville Dewey, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Paul Dougherty, Frank Duveneck, Charles Warren Eaton, Frederick C. Frieseke, George Fuller, Childe Hassam, Charles W. Hawthorne, William Morris Hunt, George Innes, John C. Johansen, Willard L. Metcalf, Richard E. Miller, Dwight W. Tryon, Helen M. Turner, John Twachtman, Elihu Vedder, Julian Alden Weir, Frederick Williams, and Alexander H. Wyant.

American Impressionism: An Arcadian Vision, Paintings from the Akron Art Museum has been organized by the Akron Art Museum and is circulated by the Trust for Museum Exhibitions, Washington D.C




(above: Frederick C. Frieseke, Through The Vines, ca.1908. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. S.G. Carkhuff)



(above: Thomas Wilmer Dewing, American, born 1851, Boston; died 1938, New York City, Symphony in Green and Gold, 1900; Oil on panel, Bequest of Edwin C. Shaw)

A Two-day Watercolor Workshop for Adults

The impressionists favored painting in the out of doors, or en plein air, rather than in a studio. American artists most often used impressionism to convey the idyllic beauty of the rural and urban landscape. In the Museum's own backyard, Scout Island, a beautiful open-air setting, has been rejuvenated under the leadership of Dr. Gary Sells and the Fresno County Office of Education. The San Joaquin River that borders Scout Island frames an idyllic setting that features both manicured and natural riparian vistas perfect for practicing watercolor technique on a spring morning. (right: Frederick Childe Hassam (1859-1935), Bedford Hills, 1908, oil on canvas, 21 7/8 by 25 7/8 inches, Bequest of Edwin C. Shaw. Collection of the Akron Art Museum)

In the spirit of the Impressionists, and to complement the American Impressions: An Arcadian Vision exhibition, veteran Fresno artist Kay Peters Sermon will teach a two-day watercolor workshop at Scout Island. The en plein air class will meet from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays, April 9th and 23rd. Students may bring their own watercolor supplies or purchase materials from the Met for a nominal fee. Artists of all levels are welcome. Please call the Museum for workshop fees.


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