September 9, 2010
An exhibition and sale of 21 important American paintings. A fully-illustrated catalog entitled Important American Paintings accompanies the exhibition.
The catalog comprises a small but select group of important American portraits, landscape and marine views, still life subjects, and genre scenes. Ranging from 1766 to 1912, these paintings represent many different periods and styles of American art including neoclassicism, realism, romanticism, academicism, aestheticism, and folk art. Although many of their creators are well known to collectors and museum curators, we have chosen to include some exceptionally fine works by lesser known painters. As is appropriate for the gallery’s focus, the majority of the paintings pertain to the Philadelphia area, but subjects of a more wide-ranging appeal are also included.
First and foremost are Charles Willson Peale’s pendant of portraits of the Baltimore silversmith turned entrepreneur Christopher Hughes and his wife and daughter. Painted in Baltimore in 1789, the paintings remain in their original frames that were reputedly made by the artist’s brother James Peale.
Although Charles Austin Needham is largely forgotten today, around 1900 he was a prominent member of New York City’s art community who was noted for painting impressionist urban views that were often tinged with the gritty realism characteristic of the Ash Can School. Such is the case with his Park Snows, a snowy winter view of Madison Square Park for which the artist was awarded a bronze medal when it was exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900.
In the genre category we have a painting by the Alsatian artist Christian Schussele, who is primarily remembered for being Eakins’s teacher at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The sentimental Getting Ready for School (1858) was exhibited at the Academy’s Thirty-Fifth Annual Exhibition in 1858.
Last but not least, still life has always been one of the Schwarz Gallery’s specialties, thus we have selected Still Life with a Brass Kettle and Shallots (1904) by the Danish-born Emil Carlsen who was regarded by his contemporaries as the greatest still life painter of his time.
The Schwarz Gallery is located in a Center City Philadelphia townhouse near Rittenhouse Square. We welcome visitors Tuesday through Friday, 10am to 6pm, Saturdays by appointment.