America and Impressionism: A French Phenomen? with David Hosking

America and Impressionism: A French Phenomen? with David Hosking


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Impressionism, born and raised in Paris, was a French phenomenon, but not exclusively so. The group known as the Impressionists included an American, Mary Cassatt, and a Frenchman, Edgar Degas, who traveled to and painted in the USA. The Impressionist links between the two countries go further: this seminar explores some of those other points of contact, from collectors to artists and beyond.

The story of the Impressionists invariably includes references to their financial difficulties and poor sales, yet over the years they did achieve certain popularity, and their paintings enjoyed considerable success in America. We’ll discuss how the exhibition and sale of Impressionist paintings in the United States, through dealers such as Paul Durand-Ruel, was important in introducing the style into the country. Collectors, inspired by these exhibitions or familiar with the art scene in Paris in the 1880s, began to build up great collections of Impressionist art. We will look at a handful of these connoisseurs, including Louisine Havemeyer, a friend of Cassatt.

The Impressionist style was popular with American artists, too, who were drawn to the lively colors and informal atmosphere of these paintings. We’ll discuss the phenomenon of American Impressionism, looking at the social context it grew out of as well as some of the main figures. We’ll look at individuals such as William Merritt Chase who discovered the style in Europe, and others, like Theodore Robinson, who learned directly from the Impressionists in France.

Led by art history expert, David Hosking, this interactive seminar will cover the French Impressionism and its links with the USA. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of this fascinating art movement.

David, originally from Scotland, has been living and guiding in Bilbao and northern Spain for many years. David is a published art historian, professional art educator and translator (he translated into English one of the standard guides to the architecture of Bilbao). He has a particular interest in the way the architecture of a city can tell its story, and has a passion for this endlessly curious part of the world.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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