(above: American Tonalism Art and American Tonalist Artists



(above: Francis McComas, Oaks of Monterey, California, 1904, 9.4 x 12.1 inches, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)


This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "American Tonalism Art and American Tonalist Artists." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to these articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the Resource Library publication date.

We recommend that readers search within the TFAO website to find detailed information for any topic. Please see our page How to research topics not listed for more information.

After "TFAO references" are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches.


(above: Bjorn Rye (1942-1998), Angel Island, 1996, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches. Private collection.)


Articles and essays published in Resource Library:

Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton: Artist and Advocate in Early Arizona, published June 5, 2012, is an article about a 2012 exhibition at the Museum of Northern Arizona. Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton was an independent spirit. Her creative drive and tenacious temperament led her to become an artist, educator, ethnographer, curator, and writer. And her love of art, nature, and Southwestern cultures played a major role in the creation of her artwork and the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, with her husband, Harold Sellers Colton. (left: thumbnail image: Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton, Navajo Shepherdess, c. 1916. In this early, major work, the Navajo girl is enveloped in a sky filled with towering cumulous clouds, the kind regularly seen moving across the Arizona sky during summer monsoon season.)

Suzanne Chamlin: Painting the Landscape and Other Views, published May 21, 2007, covers an exhibition of paintings and drawings by the artist Suzanne Chamlin, on view in the Thomas J. Walsh Gallery of Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts from April 12 through May 25, 2007. The show, featured 60 pieces, including 42 oil paintings, 13 ink and wash drawings on paper and 5 watercolors.

"A Legacy of Beauty: Paintings & Prints from the Edwin C. Shaw Bequest" is an article by Wendy Kendall-Hess, published April 20, 2005. The exhibition A Legacy of Beauty: Paintings & Prints from the Edwin C. Shaw Bequest was held at Akron Art Museum from June 17 through August 27, 1995.

"The Spirit of Inness: Creating an "American School" at the Paris Exposition of 1900" is an article by Diane Pietrucha Fischer, published September 15, 2004. It was written concerning an exhibit held at the Hudson River Museum at Yonkers, NY during August-September, 1995.

"Landscape Painters of Northern California 1870-1930" is an essay by Harvey L. Jones, published on February 16, 2004, from the catalogue "Impressions of California: Early Currents in Art 1850-1950"

Montclair Art Museum Gallery Will Be Dedicated to Works by George Inness published May 4, 2001, is an article about the opening of a gallery housing works by George Inness Inness, a visionary artist whose renderings of nature were profoundly spiritual, a style inspired by his belief in Swedenborgianism, the philosophy of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), which embraced a theory of the connection of the spiritual and material worlds. Inness' considerable contribution to American art at the turn of the century greatly influenced 20th century art movements, and brought recognition to American artists in their own right as peers of their European counterparts. Following the article is an essay titled "The Spirit of Inness: Creating an "American School" at the Paris Exposition of 1900" by Dr. Diane P. Fisher, Associate Curator at the Museum. The essay first appeared in the catalogue titled George Inness: Presence of the Unseen, A Centennial Commemoration, published in September 1994 by The Montclair Art Museum..

American Tonalism: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Montclair Art Museum, published September 11, 1999, covers an exhibition held at the Montclair Art Museum September 19, 1999 through January 2, 2000. Capturing the art phenomenon that swept American artists' studios from the 1880s to the 1910, the exhibition included Tonalist works by George Inness, James McNeill Whistler, Thomas W. Dewing, J. Alden Weir, Ralph Albert Blakelock, Albert Pinkham Ryder and Henry Ward Ranger. The MAM exhibition augmented a previous show held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1997. (right: thumbnail image: Arthur B. Davies, Parting at Evening, 1897, Oil on canvas, 12-1/4 x 15 inches, The Montclair Art Museum, Gift of Phoebe C. Macbeth in Memory of Robert W. Macbeth, 1973.13)

"Twilight and Reverie: California Tonalist Painting 1890-1930" is an essay by Harvey L. Jones, published May, 2001. The essay was written in 1995 and included in the Twilight and Reverie - California Tonalist Paintings 1890-1930 catalogue for an exhibition held at Oakland Museum of California from February 11 through May 14, 1995.


From other websites:

California Tonalism from Wikipedia is a multi-part posting covering the Barbizon influence, Whistler influence, Tonalism in Northern California, Tonalism in Southern California, California Pictorialist Photography, California Pictorialist Photography exhibitions, California Tonal Impressionism and also California Tonalism Exhibitions. Accessed August, 2016.

Fin-de-Siècle Europhile Painting: American Tonalism at Spanierman Gallery, by Maureen Mullarkey. Accessed August, 2015.

Tonalism from AskART. Accessed August, 2015.

Tonalism from Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015.

Tonalism: Pathway from the Hudson River School to Modern Art is a 2019 exhibit at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art which says: "Recent publications have begun to reconsider Tonalism as innovative in its approach to representation both conceptually and as realized, an approach that helped to lay the groundwork for modernism and contemporary art.  This exhibition will reposition Tonalism in this new context." Also see press release  Accessed 3/20


Return to Topics in American Representational Art


TFAO catalogues:

TFAO's Distinguished Artists catalogue provides online access to biographical information for artists associated with this state. Also, Search Resource Library for online articles and essays concerning both individual artists associated with this state's history and the history of art centers and museums in this state. Resource Library articles and essays devoted to individual artists and institutions are not listed on this page.

*Tag for expired US copyright of object image:

Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.


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