|Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1935
Country : US
Childe Hassam was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He studied at the
Boston Art School, was apprenticed to an engraver from whom he learned
the techniques of engraving, and thus began his career as an illustrator.
He went to Paris, in 1883, and studied with two academic artists, Louis
Boulanger and Jules Joseph Lefebvre. His fellow student, during this period,
was the American John Henry Twatchman who had previously studied in Munich.
These years in Paris, occurring as they did when Impressionism had reached
its peak of influence, were important to Hassam. When he returned to America,
he began to paint in the Impressionistic style and, in 1898, he joined
with Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, and seven other American artists to form
a group called "The Ten". Their purpose was not merely to exhibit jointly
but also, by so doing, to revolt against the stifling force of accepted
academic styles-in a certain sense, they wanted to do for American art
and taste, what European artists were accomplishing abroad.
Americans had a more difficult task, for the history of art in America
was still quite brief and the American tradition was principally one of
imitating conventional, accepted, "safe" artists. Hassam was a resident
of New York City and his favorite subjects were aspects of New York life,
which he presented with a light, sparkling palette, endowing streets and
buildings with the light and color inherent in Impressionism. He also painted
some rural New York and New England landscapes with the same light touch.
His work was so pleasant that it was readily accepted and Hassam received
many prizes and awards as well as being elected to the National Academy
in 1906. In 1915, at the age of fifty-six, he turned to the technique he
had learned as a very young man and began to work as a graphic artist.
Before his death he had completed over 350 plates, both etchings and lithographs.
In these, using only black and white, he sought to achieve the effects
of sunlight, as he did in the oil paintings upon which he also continued
Day, May 1917
Isle of Shoals, 1902
all (Frederick) Childe Hassam