Childe Hassam's Allies Day, May 1917: An Analysis

The painter

Childe Hassam, also known as Frederick Childe Hassam (1859-1935), was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts and, through his mother, was related to novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne and through his paternal grandfather, with famous Boston painter William Morris Hunt and the architect Richard Morris Hunt. William Morris Hunt introduced Hassam to the French Barbizon School style of painting; doubtless this helped Hassam achieve recognition as a foremost American Impressionist. Hassam went to Paris in 1886, and spent three years, attending classes at the Academie Julian, which also helped his assimilation of Impressionist ideas. While there, he showed successfully at exhibitions ...

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He painted often on the streets of Manhattan, New York City, and this "Flag" painting was no exception. On Fifth Avenue, many flags flew, including the Allied nations' flags: the British Union Jack, the French Tricolor and the United States' Stars and Stripes. These were intended to honor America's allies in the fight. Their pageantry inspired Hassam who dedicated this particular "Flag" painting "to the coming together of {our} three peoples in the fight for democracy." When it was first hung, at the Durand-Ruel Gallery in New York in November 1918, it was shown with several other Hassam "Flag" paintings. The exhibition opened only four days after the armistice was declared so, although Hassam created the painting to bring together the American people and America's allies, it actually ended up commemorating the resolution of the greatest war the world had seen. (National Gallery of Art Web site, I)
In creating this painting, Hassam was influenced by the boulevard ...

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elements included in the composition is blended wet-into-wet, which suggests that the painting was created during a compressed time period. This would not be surprising, as Hassam-like most Impressionists-painted in 'plein air.' Moreover, Hassam did not change his mind much while creating this work; x-rays show very few areas of overlap or change in the composition. (National Gallery of Art Web site II)
A great deal is known about this painting's exhibition history and provenance as well. After hanging at the Durand-Ruel Gallery in New York, it was exhibited at the National Academy of Design, New York, Ninety-third Annual Exhibition in 1918. From 1945 to 1953, it was on extended ...

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Added: 7/12/2016 03:45:30 AM
Category: Arts
Words: 1389
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