Artistically progressive early in his career (he was among the first to import the techniques of French Impressionism to the US), Hassam became increasingly conservative around the turn of the century, disdaining new art movements (he was outraged by what he saw at the 1913 Armory Show) and their tendency toward progressive politics. Long after Impressionism itself had ceased to have avant-garde cachet, he capitalized on what by then had become a safe, even venerable, stylistic choice in order to celebrate both America's military involvement in World War I (Fifth Avenue grandly ornamented with waving American and Allied flags) and its WASP heritage (white, steeple-topped New England churches radiating classical order and harmony in a natural paradise of vividly hued splendor).
Whatever ideological functions Hassam's art may have served in its own time--or in ours--and however facile and imitative much of it may appear to be, he was nevertheless a technically brilliant painter. Throughout a five-decade career, he managed to produce some of the most intriguing and evocative images we have of life in the United States at the dawn of the urban age.
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|Title Annotation:||Preview; Childe Hassam|
|Author:||Lubin, David M.|
|Date:||May 1, 2004|
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|Childe Hassam (1859-1935): Rebecca Rea, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Coordinator of School Group Visits.|
|Impressions of Oregon.|
|Paintings of New York 1800-1950.|
|School arts calendar.|