The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism
Friday Nov 10 01:00 PM
Sunday Nov 12 04:00 PM
Tuesday Nov 14 01:00 PM
Tuesday Nov 14 07:30 PM
Thursday Nov 16 01:00 PM
Thursday Nov 16 07:30 PM
Doris Duke Theatre
Museum members: $10.00
General Admission: $12.00
About the Film:
Directed by Phil Grabsky. 2017. USA / UK. 87 min.
The latest Exhibition on Screen film focuses on American Impressionists such as Mary Cassatt, Theodore Robinson and Willard Metcalf. Narrated by Gillian Anderson, this documentary explores the sellout 2015 exhibition The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887-1920, which was organized by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Taking its lead from French artists like Renoir and Monet, the American Impressionist movement followed its own path, which, over 40 years, 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 mesmerizing film is a feast for the eyes.
In 1886, the French art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel brought a selection of his huge stock of Impressionist paintings to New York, changing the course of art in America forever. American artists flocked to the French village of Giverny, home to the master Impressionist Claude Monet, and cheered the French new wave of plein air painting with a newfound brilliance and vitality. As Europe recoiled against the work of Monet, Degas and Renoir, Americans embraced it and created their own style of impressionism.
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.