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Childe Hassam


David Park Curry, 1990

While Hassam's French connection was recognized so early in his career that any reference to Claude Monet became an annoyance to him, impressionism was but one of three strong currents flowing through his art. Two others surged up earlier: popular culture made familiar through Hassam's work as an illustrator; and lessons of early nineteenth century British landscape painting, reinforced by the artistic leanings of Boston during the 1860s and 1870s, and furthered by Hassam's travels to England in the 1880s.

Ernest Haskell, 1922

He has a way of taking his own where he finds it, and thus he leaves the stamp of his personality on localities where he has worked... The schooners beating in and out, the wharves, the sea, the sky, these belong to Hassam....

There are many other fields that he has invaded and made his. Flowers in gardens, flowers in still life, flowers as accessories to portraits. These are painted with great tenderness, great restraint of color yet very colorfully, always part of the picture, neverjumping out in forced contrast. interiors are his, interiors that are renderings of space with a magic play of light, the light that instinctively seems to be the heritage of Hassam.

Elizabeth Broun, 1994

In a series of paintings begun in 1907, Hassam showed a solitary woman standing by a window the individual placed in relation to the broader world. His women embody the finest of Western and Eastern traditions, evoked in this painting by the Hellenistic figurine and oriental screen. They are well bred, like the hybrid roses on the table. Hassam's generation was preoccupied by evolutionary theory, and to him, the modern American woman represented a refinement of nature and culture that had been long in the making.

The key to the picture, however, is found in the sliver of the "outside world" glimpsed through the window, where laborers are seen building a skyscraper. While these men are creating the visible edifices of the modern American age, the new American woman is coming to maturity as a guardian of civilization.

- From "National Museum of American Art"

Childe Hassam Images

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c. 1891 The Manhattan Club (The Stewart Mansion)
c. 1892 Charles River and Beacon Hill
1894 Winter in Union Square
1917 Allies Day, May 1917

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