peace-fort-hamiltonPeace Fort Hamilton
William Merritt Chase (1849 – 1916)

Landscape with Dog

Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (July 25, 1844 – June 25, 1916)

Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (July 25,  1844 – June 25, 1916)

Asserting that the art of gardening parallels the art of painting …

"Reading" Childe Hassam

“The American Impressionists in the Garden” is organized by Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville, Tennessee, and explores the theme of the garden in American art and society of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. The exhibition features approximately 40 paintings depicting European and American gardens by American Impressionist artists, along with four bronze sculptures created by American artists for the garden. The American Impressionists in the Garden is broadly divided into three topical groups: “European Gardens” represents garden images created by Americans abroad, especially in Giverny, France, a place that captivated many artists. Mary MacMonnies, for example, rented an old monastery in Giverny, developed the gardens, and produced several paintings of them. Works by Childe Hassam and Ernest Lawson, on the other hand, depict more urban gardens in and around Paris, providing a contrast to the images of Giverny. “Gardens in America” explores the many known gardens painted by American impressionists, including the art colonies of Old Lyme, Connecticut, and Cornish, New Hampshire, and various gardens from Charleston, South Carolina, to California. “Garden Sculpture,” a third section, was an essential element of garden design, and a few select examples of garden statuary will document this important three-dimensional feature within the garden environment. At the end of the 19th century, American artists demonstrated a preference for gardens as artistic motifs as well as a growing appreciation of the art of gardening itself. The range of color and the variation in form and silhouette made the garden a compelling subject for a large number of painters inclined toward the Impressionist style. Early 20th-century America witnessed a mania for the garden, and the interest in the art of gardening dominated many aspects of domestic life. Garden clubs, magazines, floral displays and a multitude of other activities associated with flowers and the garden permeated American life. Publications and articles appeared offering gardening advice for Americans while also asserting that the art of gardening paralleled the art of painting.

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