Exhibition On Screen: The Artist's Garden - American Impressionism
Taking its lead from French artists like Renoir and Monet, the American impressionist movement followed its own path which over a forty-year period reveals as much about America as a nation as it does about its art as a creative power-house. It’s a story closely tied to a love of gardens and a desire to preserve nature in a rapidly urbanizing nation. Travelling to studios, gardens and iconic locations throughout the United States, UK and France, this mesmerising film is a feast for the eyes.
The timing of Durand-Ruel’s transformative visit was perfect. As America steamed into the Industrial Age, urban reformers fought to create public parks and gardens: patches of beauty amid smokestacks and ash heaps. These gardens provided unlimited inspiration for artists and a never-ending oasis for the growing middle class, made up of increasingly independent women, who relished the writings of English horticulturalists Gertrude Jekyll and William Robinson. Meanwhile the rise of wide-circulation magazines cultivated the idea that gardening was a path to spiritual renewal amid industrial blight and the belief that artists should work in native landscapes.
As America made its epic move from a nation of farmers to a land of factories, the pioneering American Impressionists crafted a sumptuous visual language that told the story of an era.
The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism features the sell-out exhibition The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887–1920 that began at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and ended at the Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut.