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American Impressionist masterworks to go on view at National Arts Club

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | The National Arts Club will launch its 2023-24 exhibitions season on Tues., Sept. 5, with “In a New Light: American Impressionism 1870–1940 | Works from the Bank of America Collection.”

Spanning more than two floors of the NAC’s landmark building on Gramercy Park, the exhibition has been loaned through the Bank of America Art in Our Communities® program. Featured are more than 130 works from the 19th and 20th centuries from seminal figures of the American Impressionist movement, including Childe Hassam, George Inness and John Sloan. Also featured in the exhibition are 13 artists who were Artist Life Members of the NAC, including Daniel Garber, Ernest Lawson and Robert Spencer.

The exhibition is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Sept. 5 to Nov. 22, at the National Arts Club, at 15 Gramercy Park South.

“Connecticut Trout Stream” (1920), by Ernest Lawson.

“This exhibition is a vivid showcase of Impressionism in America — the first modern art movement popularized in this country,” said David Doty, president of the National Arts Club. “This new way of painting, capturing light and color in bold brushstrokes, arose as the National Arts Club was founded and became a central arts institution in this country, which was hungry to learn about the arts. Indeed, more than a dozen of the artists featured were Artist Life Members of the NAC, inexorably linking this exhibit to the history of the club, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. We salute the generous support of Bank of America, and we look forward to sharing its collection with viewers from across the country who will visit the club to experience this remarkable show. Just as we did in collaboration with Bank of America in 2021 with ‘Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop,’ we kick off our exciting fall season this year with ‘In a New Light,’ advancing the club’s mission to inspire and educate the public in the fine arts, and foster the arts for generations to come.”

“Afternoon Bathers” (1920), by Robert Spencer.

“Bank of America is committed to supporting cultural institutions like the National Arts Club that not only preserve and advance the arts throughout New York City but make the arts more accessible to the communities in which we live and work,” said José Tavarez, president of Bank of America New York City. “Investing in museums through our Art in Our Communities® program helps drive greater cultural understanding and access to the arts. We look forward to sharing these masterpieces from the American Impressionist movement with visitors from near and far.”

“In a New Light” transports the NAC’s historic Tilden Mansion back to its earliest days, when the very artists whose works are on display once lived, worked and socialized within its walls.

The exhibition seeks to illuminate the emergence of a uniquely American style in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The artwork reflects the changing mindset of American artists and outlines the evolution and diversity of America’s art colonies, including the New Hope colony in Pennsylvania, of which the NAC maintains its own permanent collection. Across the exhibition, visitors can observe the emergence of radical new ideas and techniques, from the burgeoning influence of French Impressionism to the popularization of working-class and urban themes.

Untitled — Forest Scene (no date), by George Inness.

Visitors can view pieces such as NAC Artist Life Member Daniel Garber’s lush, movement-filled “Green Mansions,” which he created in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Also part of the New Hope artist colony, painter and fellow Artist Life Member Robert Spencer came to prominence for his depiction of lower-class life in works such as “Afternoon Bathers,” which is also on display. Other American Impressionist masters in the exhibition include George Inness, whose mastery of light, color and shadow can be seen in such ethereal natural landscapes as “Meadowland in June.”

Established in 2009, the Bank of America Art in Our Communities® program offers museums and nonprofit galleries the opportunity to borrow complete or customized exhibitions at no cost. Since 2009, more than 170 exhibitions have been loaned through this one-of-a-kind program.

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