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"Masters of the American Watercolor"
2002-06-15 until 2002-08-18
Columbia Museum of Art
Columbia, SC, USA

The Columbia Museum of Art is organizing an exhibition of 11 works from the large and prestigious collection of American watercolors at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Highlights of the intimate exhibition are rarely seen works that include four paintings by John Singer Sargent. Also included are works by Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, Reginald Marsh, Frank Benson, William Stanley Haseltine, William Trost Richards and John Whorf. The exhibition looks at the rise of watercolor painting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A celebrated portraitist in the medium of oil, John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) adopted watercolor as his preferred painting medium while traveling throughout Europe and America in the first years of the twentieth century. Two of the works featured in the exhibition, Venice: I Gesuati and Carrara: Lizzatori II, were produced during Sargentís trips to Italy. His aggressive approach with brushmarks and color, which became typical of a more modern American watercolor style, contrasts with the conservative and reserved English and European methods practiced by earlier artists such as Richards, Haseltine and other adherents of realism.

Winslow Homer (1836-1910) broke from his early career as an illustrator to produce some of the most striking watercolor images of the late nineteenth century. In March of 1881, Homer sailed for England and settled in Cullercoats, a small fishing and artistsí community on the Northumberland coast near Tynemouth. Over the next year Homer began working on a series of watercolors that included Tynemouth Sands, shown in the exhibition -- an image that captures a scene from the everyday lives of members of the fishing community.


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