A new exhibition, “American Impressionists: Treasures of the Daywood Collection,” opens at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) in Spokane. The exhibit features 41 works of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist American art.
Running from October 9, 2022 to January 8, 2023, the show includes works from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries. It features a wide range of subjects, from idyllic landscapes and dramatic seascapes to striking portraits and natural winter landscapes.
A variety of American artists highlighting the Impressionist movement, including John Sloane, Charles Hawthorne, Robert Henri, and John Twachtman, will be featured in the exhibition.
The exhibition was originally scheduled to take place in 2020, according to Kayla Tackett, MAC’s director of exhibitions and collections. It will open this year.
The collection, housed in the Huntington Museum of Art in West Virginia, traces its artistic origins to art patrons Arthur Dayton and Ruth Woods Dayton.
“They have amassed over 200 pieces in their collection, and more,” says Tackett. “When Arthur died, Ruth decided to create a museum out of their collection, so she housed the collection in a building near her home and called it Daywood Her Gallery.”
The collection was eventually donated to the Huntington Museum in the ’60s. Visitors to the exhibit will be able to see many of the key identifying features of Impressionist art and the influence European art had on American artists.
“In painting you see a lot of the broader brushstrokes and the play of light and color that the European Impressionists were doing,” Tuckett said. I studied it, brought it back to America, and applied the same techniques to American landscapes and American subjects.”
Paul Manogera, director and curator of the Junto Museum at Gonzaga University, also emphasized the influence of European artists. In particular, the aesthetics of French Impressionists such as Claude Monet had a great influence on American Impressionists.
“French Impressionists in particular began painting in open air, with loose brushstrokes, relatively rich and frothy impasto, layers of pigment on the surface of the canvas, and an increasing interest in the effects of time of day, light, and season. You’re not just painting, but beyond landscapes, you also have an interest in everyday life,” said Manogera.
One painting in the collection that particularly stood out for Manogera was John Twachtman’s Winter Scene on a Connecticut Farm.
“In my opinion, it was a particularly strong painting and a fine example of pinpointing the influence of French Impressionist aesthetics.
Americans who applied it specifically to the American landscape,” said Manogera. “And in the case of Twahitman, it’s a deep influence on Monet and Monet, especially Monet, who worked at Giverny.”
Manogera said Monet painted subjects and landscapes on his property in Giverny, France, including his famous series of paintings of water lilies. Twachtman also used his own property in Connecticut to find his artistic inspiration.
“Monet is a pretty good winter painter, and Twahitman is a great winter painter,” said Manogera.
Beautiful American landscapes of all kinds dominate the exhibit, but there are also various portraits that Tucket finds beautiful and compelling.
“There’s always something special about the portrait looking at you,” said Tuckett.
GU students who plan to access exhibits can expect to pay $10 with a valid student ID. They can also visit other exhibitions the museum is hosting, including a new retrospective featuring local artist Lila Shaw Garvin.
For Tackett, the exhibition is a great opportunity for art lovers and those who want to see the Impressionist technique.
“It’s a good show for people who really like art and are familiar with names like Monet and Renoir,” said Tuckett. “As I said, you can see familiar elements. That light and that color and that technique you see a lot here.”
For more information on tickets, exhibits and events, please visit MAC’s website.
Connor Campbell is a copy editor.