The Boston Painters, 1900-1930

R. H. Ives Gammell, Author, Elizabeth Hunter, Editor Parnassus Press (IL) $40 (207p) ISBN 978-0-940160-31-6
Turning their backs on modernism, the Boston-based painters covered in this artfully produced album prized a cult of beauty built on exacting craftsmanship and direct observation of nature. Notables included Joseph De Camp, who claimed that Whistler never mastered chiaroscuro; impressionist William Paxton; Edmund Tarbell, chronicler of leisure-class pursuits and New England scenery; Frederic Vinton, who went to Madrid to copy oils by Velasquez; and Frank Benson, known for his plein air landscapes. All but forgotten today, the Boston School artists deserve a better fate, argues Gammell, himself a painter of allegories as well as an erstwhile friend and colleague of these artists. As their self-appointed champion, Gammell, who died in 1981, makes overblown claims that tend to obscure the modest virtues that occasionally stand out despite the self-conscious realism. (July 8)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1986
Release date: 07/01/1986
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