On view January 22–April 19, 2021
“Welcome to Across the Atlantic: American Impressionism Through the French Lens. This is the Asheville Art Museum’s showing of an exhibition that was curated by the Reading Public Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania. My name is Whitney Richardson, and I’m an associate curator here at the Asheville Art Museum. I’m excited to show you around today.
As you enter the Appleby Foundation Exhibition Hall, you will find yourself in a room full of American Impressionist paintings, dating from the late 1800s to the late 1920s. The style of painting known as Impressionism embraced depicting the effects of changing light on a common, everyday scene as well as the technique of applying quick and loose brushstrokes for a less structured composition.
In this gallery, the viewer is being introduced to the artists from France who influenced the development of Impressionism. The group of artists first known to embrace the subjects of everyday life and who were interested in the depiction of light and atmosphere, are known as the Barbizon school.
Here we have the masters of French Impressionism. The Impressionists were aided by the invention of the tin paint tube and portable easel, so that paintings could be completed in one sitting. Also in this gallery are the early American students of the French Impressionists. A noteworthy painting in the exhibition is by American Impressionist, Edward Redfield. Redfield has cited the famous French Impressionist, Claude Monet, as one of his greatest influences. Here, Redfield depicts the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains—which of course we are located here in Asheville, although I think he was depicting them from their northern edges in Pennsylvania.
Across the Atlantic: American Impressionism Through the French Lens will be on view at the Asheville Art Museum through April 19, 2021.”
Across the Atlantic: American Impressionism Through the French Lens is organized by the Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania. Generous support for this project provided by Art Bridges, The Maurer Family Foundation, and Bitsy & Jim Powell.
Audio by Whitney Richardson, associate curator
Video by Shira Zaid, winter 2021 communications – multimedia storytelling intern