Childe Hassam (1859–1935) was the foremost American impressionist of his generation. Prolific in oil paintings and watercolors, he found his native New England to be a touchstone for his art. Hassam had a fascination with Appledore, the largest island of the Isles of Shoals off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire, and he traveled there almost every summer for thirty years. This fascinating book traces Hassam’s artistic exploration of Appledore—a complex portrait of the island created over time. John W. Coffey, working with the marine biologist Hal Weeks, revisits Hassam’s painting sites, identifying where, what, and how the artist painted on the island. Kathleen M. Burnside considers how the artist’s stylistic responses to the island’s nature ranged from illustrative to impressionist and tonalist. A photo essay by Alexandra de Steiguer reveals Appledore’s enduring beauty.
The publication accompanies the exhibition American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals on view at the North Carolina Museum of Art from March 19 to June 19, 2016, and the Peabody Essex Museum from July 16 to November 6, 2016.
Austen Barron Bailly is The George Putnam Curator of American Art at the Peabody Essex Museum. John W. Coffey is deputy director and curator of American and modern art at the North Carolina Museum of Art.
American Impressionist was awarded Best in Category for Coffee Table Books at the 2017 New England Book Show.
10h × 11.5”w
Peabody Essex Museum and Yale University Press, 2016
ISBN 9780300217315 (hardcover)
124 pages with 100 color illustrations