Bruce Museum opens American Impressionism exhibit

The Bruce Museum’s exhibit Pasture to Pond, on view from March 22 through June 22, seeks to bring American Impressionism back to its roots.

The exhibit is drawn from the permanent collection of the museum, private collectors, area museums, and the trade. It features more than 25 works of American Impressionism that “speak to the quality and beauty of this perennially popular art”, and to Connecticut’s important role in its creation.

“The history of art proves that Connecticut has long been one of the most fertile states for the creation of new art movements,” Bruce Museum Executive Director Peter Sutton said in a press release. “In no small measure it was the birthplace of American Impressionism.”

Before the turn of the 20th Century, Connecticut was a logical birthplace for American Impressionism, as artists sought a nearby, rural respite from the burgeoning urban and rapidly industrializing world. While their artistic predecessors, the landscape painters of the Hudson River School, championed dramatic landscapes of panoramic sweep and awe-inspiring majesty, the artists who came of age after the Civil War sought a more intimate, bucolic and orderly landscape. They found these views among the farms, rolling hills, rivers and picturesque shoreline of Connecticut.

Connecticut was readily accessible by train to these escaping urbanites, many of whom had winter studios in New York City. Artists’ colonies sprang up in Cos Cob and Old Lyme and landscapists took to recording favored sites. The names of these artists — John H. Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, Childe Hassam, and Willard Metcalf — are among the most famous landscapists in American art history.

“It is with pleasure then that we remember with this exhibition an era of enduring local creativity and the celebration of the beauty of our own special corner of New England,” Mr. Sutton said.

Pasture to Pond is generously underwritten by People’s United Bank, a Committee of Honor co-chaired by Leora Levy and Alice Melly, a grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts and The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund.

This exhibition, like many others at the Bruce, will be accompanied by a cell phone audio tour guide program, Guide by Cell, sponsored by Nat and Lucy Day.

The Guide by Cell program for Pasture to Pond will include a driving tour of sites in Greenwich that are featured in some of the paintings on view.

Instructions will be available at the front admissions desk, and will include a physical map for the driving tour. The Bruce Museum is located at One Museum Drive.

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