William H. Gerdts
"The best book ever written on the subject." -Artforum
"Carefully researched and meticulously documented... Gerdts's book should form the nucleus for any library's collection on American Impressionists." -Library Journal
"In this magisterial presentation Gerdts examines and celebrated the art of American painters...HIghly recommended." -Choice (Selected as an Outstanding Academic Book of the Year."
This book has long satisfied the deepening passion for American Impressionism with lavish illustrations of more than 400 paintings by 125 different artists. The fascinating text - written by Dr. William H. Gerdts, the preeminent scholar in the field - is the definitive study of the subject, filled with information and insight garnered through many years of far-ranging research. Documentary photographs of the artists and quotations from their private letters and journals complement the text and provide a vivid sense of their lives and times.
The book begins with a brief prelude discussing the roots of Impressionism in America and its relationship to French Impressionism, then launches into a lively account of the earliest adventures of American artists in Claude Monet's village of Giverny. From there the book moves into a thorough evaluation of Impressionism's progress, from an avant-garde aesthetic assaulted by critics, to its years of triumph beginning with the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and eventually, to its inevitable replacement by more radical styles of modernism.
All of the master works are here - more than half of them richly reproduced in full color - from Childe Hassam's sun-drenched gardens to John Twachtman's snow-silenced landscapes, from Edmund Tarbell's coolly elegant ladies in dim, luxurious parlors to Frederick Frieseke's voluptuous, sun-dappled nudes. In addition, the book features an extensive, ground-breaking study of how Impressionism flourished across the entire country, from Old Lyme, Connecticut, to the "Hoosier School" in Indiana, to California centers from Laguna to Carmel. Many of these works have never before been reproduced; this material significantly expands our knowledge of the Impressionist phenomenon and its an invaluable resource for collectors.
The text is now updated and includes a new chapter discussing the themes particular to the American Impressionist artists. Twenty-five new illustrations have been added, and the book concludes with an exhaustive bibliography containing 300 new entries.