Review by Choice Review
An impressive historiography of the American separatist art movement "Ten American Painters" active from 1897 to about 1919. The Ten were eclectic artists who modernized academic styles with methods of European Impressionism. Hiesinger allows for the diverse character of the Ten's Impressionism: "including the rendering of bright outdoor light and color, the optical breakdown of detail, the concern for contemporary life, and the cultivation of a direct and spontaneous approach to subjects that could occur separately or in combination." Many of these artists are now considered virtually American "old masters" including Benson, Chase, Hassam, Metcalf, Twachtman, and J. A. Weir. Serious studies like this one should also reinstate their comrades De Camp, Dewing, Reid, Simmons, and Tarbell. Five chapter essays effectively present the material, from "The Founding of the Ten American Painters" through "The Challenge of Modernism, 1908-1918." The ad hoc nature of the group, and its gradual success and maturity into a dominant movement is documented. Footnotes are lengthy, but interesting and useful; 83 colorplates accompany 65 figures and other black-and-white photographs. Biographies and bibliography are exhaustive. Essential for serious collections along with W.H. Gerdt's; Masterworks of American Impressionism (CH, Oct'91).-M. Hamel-Schwulst, Towson State University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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