Americans’ first reactions to the radical new French painting called Impressionism were less than positive. The movement—with its loose brushstrokes and use of vivid, unmixed colors to convey a heightened sense of light and atmospheric effects—blossomed in France in the early 1870s, but did not catch on here until the late 1880s. By the early 1900s, even Weir became an adherent.
Many of these artists, including Kentucky’s own Hattie Hutchcraft Hill, studied in France and worked both at home and abroad. Willard Metcalf and Theodore Robinson were part of the American colony in Giverny, France, home of the famed Claude Monet. Weir and Childe Hassam painted in New England during the summers and exhibited with the New York-based Ten American Painters. Edward Redfield was a key member of the Pennsylvania Impressionists in New Hope. Frank Harmon Myers and John Ellsworth Weis were part of the Cincinnati art community and traveled together to Paris to paint.
American Impressionism flourished well into the 1920s in this country in a rich variety of styles and forms. This exhibition offers a taste of art that is now beloved, but was once disdained by the public and many artists alike.
EDWARD CUCUEL, Girl in Yellow, 1914 (circa), oil on canvas. UK Art Museum collection: Gift of Mrs. Mattie Schmidt Bowyer in memory of her husband, Charles Henry Bowyer
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