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Property from a Prominent Private Collection

Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire

Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire
signed 'W. Glackens' (lower right)
oil on canvas
25 x 30 in. (63.5 x 76.2 cm.)
Painted in 1909.
The artist.
Estate of the above.
Kraushaar Galleries, New York, 1968.
Harry Spiro, New York, until 1973.
M. Knoedler & Co., New York, until 1980.
Hammer Galleries, New York.
Private collection, 1980.
Coe Kerr Gallery, New York.
Private collection, Naples, Florida, acquired from the above, 1983.
Godel & Co., New York.
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 2006.
New York, M. Knoedler & Co., The Eight, 1975, no. 18.
New York, M. Knoedler & Co., American Impressionists, 1975, no. 4.
Santa Fe, New Mexico, Santa Fe East, Paintings by American Impressionists, 1982, pp. 4, 60.
New York, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., Our Own Bright Land: American Topographical Pictures, 1770-1930, November 29, 1994-January 28, 1995, p. 4, no. 16.
Winona, Minnesota, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, 2006-2022, on extended loan.

Brought to you by

Tylee Abbott
Tylee Abbott Vice President, Head of American Art

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Lot Essay

Summer leisure time, a predominant theme in the work of many American Impressionists, captivated William Glackens beginning with his first summer on the New England coast in 1908. He would continue to explore this subject throughout the 1910s, subsequently visiting Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Wickford, Rhode Island; Bellport, Long Island and Chester, Nova Scotia. The series of paintings that he executed during these summers are among his finest as he imaginatively explored new painting techniques and developed his own style of Impressionism. In Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire Glackens is able to evoke the leisurely mood of a mid-summer day.

William Gerdts writes, "Washington Square and Central Park may have been among Glacken's favorite outdoor painting grounds during most of the year, but in the summers he concentrated on the beaches he visited during annual holiday excursions with his family. In fact, such subjects became his largest body of outdoor work--not only the pictures he most frequently exhibited but also his most popular, judging by their presence today in many of American's leading art institutions. They also enjoyed the most critical attention in their own time...They reflect the coloristic strategies of Renoir, but reject the classicizing treatment of many of the French master's bathing pictures in favor of an emphasis on middle-class holiday enjoyment." (W.H. Gerdts, William Glackens, New York, 1996, p. 109)

Painted in 1909, Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire, represents an important transition in Glackens' ouevre. He has begun to turn away from the darker style of his previous urban work and to incorporate various tenets of Impressionism such as softer colors and a greater concern with the effects of light. Glackens applies jewel-like tones with quick brushstrokes to capture the effect of the bright summer sun on the scene.

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