Childe Hassam

Nationality : American

Birth Year : 1859

Death Year : 1935

Place of Birth : Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Place of Death : East Hampton, New York, United States

Biography

Occupation: Painter
Movement: American Impressionism
Specialty: 19th Century American Art
Education: Academie Julian, Paris
Famous Artworks
“Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris,” 1888
“A Paris Nocturne,” 1889
“Washington Arch, Spring,” 1890
“Rainy Day on Fifth Avenue,” 1893
“The White Dory, Gloucester,” 1895
“The Water Garden,” 1909
“The Fourth of July,” 1916
“Allies Day, May,” 1917
Childe Hassam was an extremely successful Impressionist painter from the United States. He was very prolific, and was to form the nucleus of a group of American Impressionist artists that included John Henry Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, and Mary Cassatt. He was especially known for his urbanscapes.
Early Life
Born into a family of a rich Boston businessman, Frederick Childe Hassam showed an early interest in drawing. He was called Childe after an uncle, and dropped his given name Frederick, referring to himself as Childe Hassam. He was good at sports in school, and his parents didn’t really notice his talent at art.
Hi father lost his business in a fire that burnt down a major portion of Boston’s commercial area. Hassam dropped out of school, deciding instead to help with the family finances. His father found him work as an accountant, but he escaped that job within weeks and began learning wood engraving instead. He was a good draftsman, and found work for himself easily enough. He also began painting, using mainly watercolor as his medium. He took lessons at the Boston Art Club as well as lessons with the painter Ignaz Gaugengigl.
Creative Development
Edmund H. Garrett, a friend of the artist, convinced him to travel to Europe in 1883. They studied the Old Masters and Hassam painted numerous watercolors of landscapes that he exhibited the next year. He also started giving lessons at the Cowles Art School. He was already beginning to focus on light, the study of which would grow more profound as his career progressed.
Hassam married Kathleen Maude Doane in 1884. They moved to Paris a couple of years later, where Hassam wanted to study. He enrolled at the Academie Julian, but was far more involved with the progress he found he was making by himself painting from real life on the street. He also visited some of the French Impressionist shows, which influenced his style of painting.
He regularly sent his work back to the U.S. for sale, and was making a name for himself at home. He also supported himself with illustration work. The couple moved to New York in 1887. He continued painting street scenes, including carriages and horses. As life in the cities changed, with horses giving way to cars and trucks, he would move away from urban scenes. For the time being, however, he was enjoying living and working in the city, painting the better parts of New York, while rejecting as subjects the grimmer areas of the city.
The Middle Years
Hassam began working through the summers at some of the islands off New Hampshire, especially at Appledore. His friend, the poet Celia Thaxter, was the center of a group of artists and writers that met at her home. He was to paint some typically Impressionist work at these locations. In spite of the economic slump at the time, he continued producing and selling work regularly. He did, however, face some criticism about how he had overdone the Impressionist style, as the Impressionists themselves had moved on to Post-Impressionism and Fauvism.
The Hassams were great travelers, and they returned to Europe for a while. Hassam again involved himself with studying the Old Masters. They travelled to Italy, and then to Paris, heading back to New York in 1897. He was instrumental in the formation of a group of artists called The Ten, Impressionists who no longer felt part of mainstream art movements. His work was beginning to use colors that were lighter in tone, something that was not to the taste of everyone.
Unlike many artists, Hassam was good at handling the business side of his affairs. He managed to keep selling his work through a network of dealers within the country and abroad. The increasing acceptance of Impressionism in America in the beginning of the 20th century helped, and his work was soon being purchased by big museums.
Hassam was still painting buildings and landscapes, but with the eventual changing of urban landscapes, he was increasingly being drawn towards painting landscapes.
The artist’s career had taken an upturn by the close of the first decade of the 20th century. They continued travelling, returning to Europe again in 1910. The next decade was to see an active Hassam creating a large number of works. He did his “Flag Series” at this time, the work he is best known for.
Hassam was interested in being part of the war effort, and wished to travel to Europe to document it, but the authorities weren’t willing to take the risk.
Hassam commenced living in East Hampton in 1919. He continued being prolific, but has been criticized as having stagnated in these later years. He received many honors in these last years. He died in 1935.
Timeline
1859  -  Born in Boston
1882  -  Pursues a career as a freelance illustrator
1883  -  Mounts his first exhibition at the Williams and Everett Gallery
1884  -  Joins the Cowles Art School; marries Kathleen Maude Doane
1889  -  Returns to the United States and settles in New York
1897  -  Becomes a member of The Ten
1906  -  Elected into the National Academy of Design
1910  -  Visits Paris for a summer
1913  -  Participates in the Panama-Pacific Exhibition
1935  -  Dies in East Hampton
Major Exhibitions
1887  -  Paris Salon
1913  -  Armory Show, New York
Museums / Collections
Dallas Museum of Art
Art Institute of Chicago
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Musee d’Orsay, Paris
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
National Gallery of Art, WashingtonDC
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
The Phillips Collection, Washington DC
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Washington DC
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid
Books / Publications
“Childe Hassam: American Impressionist” by H. Barbara Weinberg
“Childe HassamL An Island Garden Revisited” by David Park Curry
“Childe Hassam” by Warren Adelson and Jay E. Cantor
“Childe Hassam: Impressionist in the West” by Margaret E. Bullock
 

 

See More Lots FOR FREE
at Blouin Art Sales Index
ART PRICES

LOT SOLD (1988 - 2009)

874

MAX PRICE

$7,200,000

AVG PRICE

$1,611,565

TOTAL SALES (1988 - 2009)

$61,239,500

 Along the Seine, Bougival by Childe Hassam

Childe Hassam

Along the Seine, Bougival

Sotheby's, New York

December 5, 2015

$112,500  USD

 French Quarter courtyard, New Orleans 11:30 AM by Childe Hassam

Childe Hassam

French Quarter courtyard, New Orleans 11:30 AM

Neal Auction Company, New Orleans

November 20, 2015

$3,172  USD

 A New Year's Nocturne, New York by Childe Hassam

Childe Hassam

A New Year's Nocturne, New York

Christie's, New York

November 19, 2015

 USD

 The pretty pool, Bass Rocks by Childe Hassam

Childe Hassam

The pretty pool, Bass Rocks

Christie's, New York

November 19, 2015

 USD

 Andover, Massachusetts by Childe Hassam

Childe Hassam

Andover, Massachusetts

Christie's, New York

November 19, 2015

 USD

 The Cove, Isles of Shoals by Childe Hassam

Childe Hassam

The Cove, Isles of Shoals

Bonhams, New York

November 18, 2015

$365,000  USD

 The Gardener by Childe Hassam

Childe Hassam

The Gardener

Bonhams, New York

November 18, 2015

$23,750  USD

 Royal Palms, Melena, Cuba by Childe Hassam

Childe Hassam

Royal Palms, Melena, Cuba

Bonhams, New York

November 18, 2015

$425,000  USD

 Portsmouth Doorway by Childe Hassam

Childe Hassam

Portsmouth Doorway

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Chicago

November 18, 2015

$406  USD

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