From the late 1800s through the 1920s, two important stylistic movements of early 20th century Art History coexisted – American Impressionism and Realism. These artists’ styles overlapped in time and a loose, impressionistic brushstroke, but transected in their subject matter. Today, those paintings highlight the diversity of American artists’ experiences, mentorships, training, and location at the turn of the century, all while industrializing city centers of the United States – Philadelphia, Boston, and New York – were exponentially expanding. Impression and Reality considers the dichotomy between these two cooccurring philosophies – one that highlights light, nature, and the temporary pleasures or luxuries of life, and the other that emphasizes the harsh, strenuous conditions of ordinary life in the growing urban cities.
Mennello Museum of American Art is delighted to showcase 34 paintings and 3 works on paper by the most celebrated artists of the early 20th century art in the United States. Preeminent artists of their time on display include artists like John White Alexander, Frederick Carl Frieseke, and Henry Salem Hubbell alongside lesser known, but equally important contemporaries Lydia Field Emmett, Jane Peterson, and Lilla Cabot Perry – to name a few.
This exhibition brings together beloved artists from collections across Florida including the Mennello Museum’s own collection, the Marilyn and Michael Mennello Foundation, and significant loans from the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Harn Museum of Art, Museum of Florida History, Rollins Museum of Art, Tampa Museum of Art.
In total, the exhibition considers artists’ interests in depicting experiences of life in urban and bucolic landscapes, their interest in domesticated and wild subjects in the natural world at home and abroad, as well as the social mores and representation of women. These reflections implore the necessity to highlight under-recognized women who were also creating, marketing, and participating in these movements.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Image credit: Karl J. Anderson, The Green Pitcher, 1913. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of The Michael A. and The Honorable Marilyn Logsdon Mennello Foundation