Sunday, March 20, 2011

Childe Hassam 1859-1935

Childe learned to paint in Boston. He started at age 21. He began displaying his street scenes at age 26. He spent three years in France and returned to NYC in 1889 [studio at 95 fifth Ave. at 17th street - wonder what's there now). He saw nature as still life. He felt the painter's first priority is to paint his own time. He used a low tone delicate palette. He was influenced by French impressionist but about 1889 realized there was an American school (after all we had George Inness, James Whistler and John Sergant). The US economy took a bad slump in 1896 (sound familiar) and he auctioned off 205 works which sold for an average of $47.00 (this was not considered a good auction result). His street scenes were great - cabbies and their horses - the stupid critics complained about his rainy days scenes and he switched to a sunlit palette. (Info from Childde Hassam - American Impressionist by Ulrich W. Hiesinger). I wished he had lived a bit longer - I could have met him.

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