Childe Hassam: At Dusk: Boston Common at Twilight.
Childe Hassam: At Dusk: Boston Common at Twilight
Erica E. Hirshler
c/o Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
9780878468379, $9.95, 76pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Childe Hassam: At Dusk: Boston Common at Twilight" is a vivid account of one of Boston's best-loved paintings in which leading American art specialist Erica E. Hirshler illuminates the context of Childe Hassam's 1880s city scene. With its rosy rust tones, intimate familial vignette and quiet expanse of snow-laden park, today "At Dusk (Boston Common at Twilight)" seems to encourage reflection and represent a decidedly old-fashioned city. Yet Hirshler reveals the ways in which the painting visually signaled the emerging modern city, from subtleties about women's place in the urban landscape to the uproarious clang of the streetcars that would have been heard on the busiest block in Boston. Enriched with reproductions of related paintings and archival illustrations, this evocative volume explores the countered conventions and bulldozed buildings behind the canvas's creation.
Critique: Impressively well written, organized and presented, "Childe Hassam: At Dusk: Boston Common at Twilight" is nicely illustrated throughout. Exceptionally researched with erudite and knowledgeably insightful, "Childe Hassam: At Dusk: Boston Common at Twilight" is very highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library American Art History reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.