Daniel Garber (1880-1958)
Daniel Garber (1880-1958)


Daniel Garber (1880-1958)
signed 'Daniel Garber' (lower left)--signed again and inscribed with title (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
30¼ x 30 in. (76.8 x 76.2 cm.)
Painted in 1935.
The artist.
Gordon McCormick, New York, acquired from the above, August 1946.
Miss Marguerite Vollmer, New York, acquired from the above, 1946.
Christie's, New York, 1 December 1984, lot 192.
Newman & Saunders Galleries, Wayne, Pennsylvania, acquired from the above.
[With]Barbara Lentx, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Private collection, Connecticut, acquired from the above, circa 1986.
D. Wigmore Fine Art, Inc., New York.
Acquired by the present owner from the above, November 1986.
D. Garber, Artist's Record Book I, p. 53, lines 25-30.
Hollis Taggart Galleries, Daniel Garber Catalogue Raisonné, compiled by Lance Humphries (with an introduction by Kathleen Foster), New York, 2006, p. 240, no. P 665, illustrated.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, J.J. Gillespie, n.d.
South Hadley, Massachusetts, Mount Holyoke Friends of Art, Dwight Art Memorial, Paintings by Daniel Garber, September 21-October 21, 1936.
Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, Woodmere Art Gallery, Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Prints by Daniel Garber, N.A., November 1-22, 1942.

Lot Essay

In 1906, shortly after the birth of their first child, Tanis, Daniel Garber and his wife Mary were given a country home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania by Mary's father. Their house, which they named Cuttalossa, served as their summer residence for the next decade and became their permanent home when they sold their house in Philadelphia during the 1920s. Right from the outset of his habitation there, Garber explored up and down the surrounding valleys that bordered on the Delaware River from New Hope to Frenchtown. He came to know well the countryside's rolling terrain and bodies of water. By the 1930s when Garber painted Bayou, the artist had already mastered many of the techniques he would use throughout the remainder of his career, namely his focus on composition at the expense of a strict transcription of the view before him. Painted in 1935, Bayou is a prime example of Garber's complete control in capturing the luminous effect of light on atmosphere and landscape.

Garber received his initial artistic training at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and later at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, studying under William Merritt Chase and Cecilia Beaux. The most significant influence during Garber's early career, however, was his study in Europe from 1903 to 1905: "[Garber], during a year of study in Paris, was influenced by the European Impressionists. From this exposure to these masters, Garber honed his skill at representing sunlight and derived his use of lively pastel colors." (Beacon Hill Fine Art, An American Tradition: The Pennsylvania Impressionists, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1995, p. 18)

Although he adopted techniques of French Impressionism, Garber rejected the idea of painting a fleeting moment in time. His subject matter was structured on reality tempered by artistic license that was conservative and classical. In a 1922 interview Garber elaborates: "My work is different, perhaps, from that of the general landscape painter in that I have a mass of detail in the mass. After all, one's job is to get everything in and yet keep it all as a whole, like an orchestra--everything working in harmony to produce one feeling or emotion." (as quoted in Hollis Taggart Galleries, Daniel Garber Catalogue Raisonné, compiled by Lance Humphries, New York, 2006, p. 88)

By the 1920s, Garber increasingly began to portray local subjects. The titles of his paintings clearly identify them as depicting specific locales, among them views of the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers. These paintings are uniquely American in approach. "A Frenchman passing through Buffalo observed upon seeing [Garber's] canvas that he painted 'American landscapes that the artists of no other country can compare with. They obtain the spirit of this country...they have seldom been equaled.'" (as quoted in Daniel Garber Catalogue Raisonné, p. 116)

Bayou masterfully portrays an afternoon sun diffusing through autumn trees and dappling the river stream with hints of a clear blue sky above. This subtle modulation of color and reflected light on the serene surface of the water, combined with the gentle hand of man's intrusion with boats resting lazily along the water's edge, creates a sense of a leisurely movement and evokes the tranquil passage of time.

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