Historical Society sheds ‘good light’ on exhibit

A room at the Bush-Holley House that once served at various times as the studio of Childe Hassam, John Twachtman and Elmer MacRae has been restored and the Greenwich Historical Society is celebrating with a new exhibition opening Oct. 3.

The exhibition, called A Good Light: The Artist’s Studio in Cos Cob and Beyond, will explore the changing concept of the artist’s studio by displaying representations of an American art student’s Parisian garret, William Merritt Chase’s opulent Tenth Street studio in New York, Dorothy Ochtman’s view of her father in the studio they shared in their Cos Cob home and the repurposed farm sheds used by artists in Old Lyme. These and other paintings will suggest the wide range of spaces in which turn-of-the-century artists worked and will provide a cultural context for the restored studio.

Susan Larkin, who is guest curator for the exhibit, said in a press release that, “The studio originally doubled as bedroom and workspace for its occupants. To augment the natural light from windows on the northern and eastern exposures, the owners, the Holley family, added a dormer around 1900. Illuminated by windows on three sides, the room offered views of the abundant gardens behind the house, the millpond to one side and the bustling harbor across the street. Now when you visit the Bush-Holley house, you can more easily imagine the vistas the artists enjoyed.”

In addition to depictions of American artists’ studios in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the exhibition presents the models for Childe Hassam’s work in Cos Cob and a sampling of work done outside the studio in the environs by Hassam, John H. Twachtman and Elmer MacRae.

A complementary exhibition, Historic Artists’ Homes Studios, on loan from Chesterwood. which is the home and studio of Lincoln Memorial sculptor Daniel Chester French, will feature photographs that focus on the fascinating and eclectic living and workspaces of famous American artists including N.C. Wyeth, Jackson Pollock and Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

The Historical Society is also offering a number of public programs throughout the fall to further explore personalities and social, economic and political influences that shaped American art at the turn of the 19th century when the Cos Cob art colony was in its heyday. Kathleen Johnson will talk about social and economic currents in a lecture entitled Tales of Conflict and Accommodation in America’s Progressive Era on Tuesday, Oct. 9, and on Oct. 22, Annette Blaugrund will share her research in a Lunch Learn lecture on the banding together of artists at the turn of the century, contrasting City Ateliers and Country Retreats: Artists of The Tenth Street Studio Building and the Cos Cob Art Colony.

A day trip to the Catskills to visit the homes and studios of Thomas Cole and Frederic Church is also planned for Oct. 11.

To learn more or to sign up for any of these programs, visit Greenwichhistory.org or call 203-869-6899, ext. 10.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress