Childe Hassam (1859-1935)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller
Childe Hassam (1859-1935)

The East Headland Pool, Appledore

Childe Hassam (1859-1935)
The East Headland Pool, Appledore
signed and dated 'Childe Hassam 1912' (lower left)--signed again with initials and dated again (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
22 x 24 in. (55.9 x 61 cm.)
Painted in 1912.
The artist.
American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, by bequest from the above, 1935.
Mr. Robert F. Woolworth, New York, 1964.
[With]M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 1965.
Mr. and Mrs. P.J. Baugh, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1966.
[With]James Graham & Sons, New York, 1978.
Baron von Thyssen Bornemisza, Lausanne, Switzerland, 1978.
Andrew Crispo Gallery, New York.
Sotheby's, New York, 3 December 1987, lot 222, sold by the above.
Acquired by the late owners from the above.
J. Barnitz, et al., The David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: Art of the Western Hemisphere, vol. II, New York, 1988, pp. 388-89, no. 258, illustrated.
B. Weinberg, Childe Hassam: American Impressionist, New York, 2004, pp. 388, 401.
(Possibly) Boston, Massachusetts, Copley Gallery, Pictures by Childe Hassam, December 9-21, 1912, no. 7.
(Possibly) Buffalo, New York, The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Albright Art Gallery, Exhibition of a Group of Paintings Representative of the Life and Work of Childe Hassam, N.A., March 9-April 8, 1929, no. 96 (as East Headland Pool).
New York, Brooklyn Museum, Leaders of American Impressionism: Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, John H. Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, October 17-November 28, 1937, no. 53 (as The Great Headland Pool, Appledore).
New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., Summer Exhibition: 18th, 19th and 20th Century American Paintings and Sculpture, June-September 1965, no. 29.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, University of North Carolina, William Hayes Ackland Memorial Art Center, From Across the State, February 6-March 5, 1972.
Perth, Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, and elsewhere, America and Europe: A Century of Modern Masters from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, October 2, 1979-August 24, 1980, no. 29.
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Lot Essay

We would like to thank the Hassam catalogue raisonné committee for their assistance with cataloguing this work.

This painting will be included in Stuart P. Feld's and Kathleen M. Burnside's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work.

Initially invited to the island of Appledore by the famous poetess and avid gardener, Celia Thaxter, Childe Hassam regularly spent his summers in the beautiful and remote region from 1882 to 1916. Located just seven miles off the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire, Appledore is the largest of the Isles of Shoals. Thaxter established her own intellectual salon amidst the resort community there, drawing many distinguished artists and writers of the 19th century to the area. “Appledore was a place where the imagination could flourish. Inspired by impressions of the parlor’s cultured atmosphere, the garden’s brilliant color, and the landscape’s wild beauty, Hassam executed some of his most successful works at the Isles of Shoals…The finest Shoals images, created between 1890 and 1912, coincide with the full flowering of Hassam’s powers as a painter.” (D.P. Curry, Childe Hassam: An Island Garden Revisited, New York, 1990, p. 14)

On his visits to Appledore, Hassam documented Thaxter’s garden and the landscape of the island in vibrant oils and watercolors, eventually finding his way to the rocky shorelines. It was here that Hassam created some of his finest works of the island’s geology and sea. “Thaxter thought the tiny coves where the artist was fond of setting up a portable easel were 'the most delightful places in the world': ‘lovely with their…mosaic of stone and shell and sea-wrack, tangles of kelp and driftwood—a mass of warm neutral tints—with brown, green, and crimson mosses, and a few golden snail-shells lying on the many-tinted gravel, where the indolent ripples lapse in delicious murmurs.’” (Childe Hassam: An Island Garden Revisited, p. 159)

In the present work, Hassam creates a breathtaking perspective looking toward the sapphire sea, positioned only footsteps away from the edge of the jagged coastline, where the white foam of the water greets the severe terrain. Rendered in soft, pale tones, a mysterious woman is placed at the shoreline, anchoring the composition where the staccato brushstrokes of the jewel-toned sea meet the warm palette of browns and reds amongst the harsh cliffs.

Appreciating this environment as an escape from the hectic city life of the colder seasons, Hassam portrays his beloved summer retreat of Appledore Island as a breathtaking place of escape and wonder. “Fresh and invigorating, the Isles of Shoals pictures stand out vividly against Hassam’s huge body of work as a whole. Memories of long-gone summers reach across the years, for his best pieces are still charged with the artist’s sense of adventure as he took chances with composition, let go with color…his paintings offer a concentrated sampling in which the oft-made generalizations about the sources, aims, and methods of late nineteenth-century American art can be better understood.” (Childe Hassam: An Island Garden Revisited, p. 14)

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