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Artist Biography

 Childe Hassam, the son of a hardware merchant, was born October 17, 1859, in Dorchester, Massachusetts. At age seventeen, Hassam showed interest in drawing and became an apprentice to a Boston wood engraver and was soon employed as a full-time illustrator. During this time he attended an occasional drawing class at the Boston Art Club drawing from live models and experimenting with multiple mediums. By age 23, Hassam rented a studio at the Tremont Street Building in Boston. Hassam made his first trip to Europe in 1883 visiting England, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. He brought back with him sixty-seven watercolors and exhibited them at the William & Evert gallery in Boston. The positive response inspired Hassam to return to Europe and pursue painting as a career.


In 1886 Hassam set sail with his wife for Paris and began a three year study at the Academie Julian. During this time, Hassam’s palette lightened and his brush strokes became very Impressionistic. Upon his return to the United States in 1889, Hassam decided to pursue his career in New York City in order to study modern cityscapes. By the 1900s critics raved about Hassam’s paintings and his influence on American Impressionism. Throughout his career Hassam explored street scenes, landscapes and genre paintings gathered from his travels. His most famous paintings are of flags hanging from facades of New York buildings, which demonstrates that his later works continued to show his fresh unique Impressionist style.


In 1989 Hassam helped found the Ten American Painters , a group of artists who seceded from the Society of American Arts and held their first exhibition in 1898. Hassam painted more canvases than any other member of the Ten American Painters. Other notable accomplishments include his membership to the New York Watercolor Club and the Pastel Society of New York. Hassam showed regularly at the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Carnegie International. Hassam’s work can be found in all major museum collections throughout the United States, including: The National Museum of American Art; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; the Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts; The Museum of Art, Carnegie Institution; and the City Art Museum of St. Louis.

References:

Pierce, Patricia Jobe, The Ten Pierce Galleries, Inc. Rumford Press, Concord, New Hampshire, 1976.
Spanierman Gallery, Ten American Painters, New York, 1990.