44
44

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF WILLIAM AND ALICE FITZHUGH

Childe Hassam
1859 - 1935
NEWPORT
Estimation
500 000700 000
Lot. Vendu 902,500 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
44

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF WILLIAM AND ALICE FITZHUGH

Childe Hassam
1859 - 1935
NEWPORT
Estimation
500 000700 000
Lot. Vendu 902,500 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Childe Hassam
1859 - 1935
NEWPORT

signed Childe Hassam and dated 1901, l.r.; also signed with the artist's monogrammed initials CH and dated 1901 on the reverse


oil on canvas


24 by 26 in.
(61.0 by 66.0 cm)
Lire le rapport d'état Lire le rapport d'état

We are grateful to Kathleen M. Burnside for her assistance in cataloguing this lot, which will be included in Ms. Burnside's and Stuart P. Feld's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work.

Provenance

Macbeth Gallery, New York, 1919 (acquired from the artist)
David Gray
Pierre Nesi, Beverly Hills, California, 1948
The World Arts Gallery, San Francisco, California
Private collection (acquired from the above), 1957
By descent in the family

Exposition

New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Ten American Painters, April-May 1903
Rome, International Exposition of Art and History, 1911
San Francisco, California, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1957-2001 (on loan)
San Francisco, California, California Palace of the Legion of Honor; Santa Barbara, California, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Painters by the Sea, July–September 1961
Tucson, Arizona, University of Arizona Museum of Art; Santa Barbara, California, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Childe Hassam 1859-1935, February–April 1972, no. 55, illustrated p. 88
San Marino, California, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, 2001-2009 (on loan)

Description

Every spring, Childe Hassam made plans to leave his New York studio and travel to one of the resorts along the New England coast. These trips provided both new subject matter and an escape from the city's sultry summers. As a native of Boston, Hassam was initially attracted to the nearby town of Gloucester, as well as the Isles of Shoals; both were long-standing artistic communities the artist visited periodically for nearly thirty years. Hassam had also been introduced to Cos Cob and Branchville in Connecticut by fellow artists John H. Twatchman and J. Alden Weir, and later became involved in the art colony at Old Lyme. His summer excursions were never limited to a single locale, but despite his extensive travels throughout New England, Hassam had only one extended stay in Newport, Rhode Island during September and October of 1901. He probably spent the earlier part of the season on the Isles of Shoals, writing to a friend that he would soon be returning to New York. His new studio, however, was not yet ready, and Hassam likely diverted to Newport to bide his time until its completion.

At the time of the artist's arrival, Newport was still enjoying its 'Golden Age.' A maritime city with coastlines on the west, south and east, Newport's harbors teemed with commercial fishing boats, naval ships, and pleasure crafts. 'The City by the Sea' had attracted well-to-do vacationers since colonial times, and by the end of the nineteenth century it had become a summer mecca for America's elite. Families like the Vanderbilts, Astors, and Wetmores built sprawling mansions and engaged in leisure activities such as yachting, fox hunting, polo, golf, and tennis.

Hassam completed seven canvases of Newport, and with the exception of one street scene, they all depict views of the town as seen from the harbor. The compositions are often arranged from the viewpoint of Goat Island, with Newport's Trinity Church steeple located on the horizon. The church steeple was a prominent feature in a number of Hassam's New England scenes, particularly those of Old Lyme and Gloucester. For Hassam, these neoclassical New England churches represented not only a place of worship but an emblem of beauty and Anglo-American tradition. According to William Gerdts, "Hassam had tremendous admiration for the architecture of New England churches as well as for their spiritual significance, for their classical proportions underscored their sense of permanence. Hassam once declared: 'New England churches have the same kind of beauty as Greek temples ... My business is to sit in front of a beautiful church or a beautiful woman and paint them'" (Childe Hassam Impressionist, 1999, p. 205). In Newport, the tall masts of the boats in the foreground echo the vertical components of the church steeple, the only clearly identifiable building on the horizon.

Hassam's Newport work was first exhibited to the public at the 1903 exhibition of 'The Ten' at Durand-Ruel Galleries. The present work was likely the one shown, and critics favorably received it complimenting its impressionist quality. "One reviewer praised [the painting] as a 'capital performance,' likening its brush strokes to 'the chiseling of a sculptor.' Indeed, the 'archivibrator, Mr. Childe Hassam,' as he was dubbed by the New York Times in 1901, seemed to be more easily recognized in his paintings of 'real' subjects, such as Newport, rather than in his 'composed' renditions of women" (Kathleen Burnside, in Ten American Painters, 1990, p. 155).

American Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture

|
New York