CHILDE HASSAM (1859-1935)
CHILDE HASSAM (1859-1935)
CHILDE HASSAM (1859-1935)
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CHILDE HASSAM (1859-1935)
4 More
Property from the Estate of Patrick Rutherford, Jr.
CHILDE HASSAM (1859-1935)

The Dewey Arch (Dewey's Arch)

Details
CHILDE HASSAM (1859-1935)
The Dewey Arch (Dewey's Arch)
signed with artist's crescent device and dated 'Childe Hassam 1900' (lower right)
gouache and watercolor on paperboard
18 1/2 x 22 1/2 in. (47 x 57.2 cm.)
Executed in 1900.
Provenance
Milch Galleries, New York, by 1952.
Private collection, Greenwich, Connecticut, 1955.
Meredith Long & Company, Houston, Texas, by 1974.
Acquired by the late owner from the above.
Literature
W. Adelson, J.E. Cantor, W.H. Gerdts, Childe Hassam: Impressionist, New York, 1999, pp. 159, 161, no. 168, illustrated (as Dewey's Arch).
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Childe Hassam: American Impressionist, exhibition catalogue, New York, 2004, p. 116n.86 (as Dewey's Arch).
Exhibited
New York, Milch Galleries, Childe Hassam Watercolors, December 1952, no. 19 (as Dewey Arch, New York).
New York, Davis & Long Company, American Painting, October 15-November 2, 1974, p. 12 (as Dewey's Arch).
Houston, Texas, Museum of Fine Arts, American Painters in the Age of Impressionism, December 4, 1994-March 26, 1995, pp. 43-44, fig. 30, pl. 44, illustrated (as Dewey Arch).
San Antonio, Texas, San Antonio Museum of Art, The Age of Innocence: American Impressionism & Its Influence, June 29-September 1, 1996 (as Dewey Arch).
New York, Adelson Galleries, Inc.; Houston, Texas, Meredith Long & Company, Childe Hassam: An American Impressionist, November 2, 1999-February 5, 2000, n.p., no. 56, illustrated (as Dewey's Arch).
Further details
This work will be included in Stuart P. Feld's and Kathleen M. Burnside's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work.

Brought to you by

Tylee Abbott
Tylee Abbott Vice President, Head of American Art

Lot Essay

Childe Hassam’s urban experience was rooted in New York City, where he moved in 1889 after living in Boston and Paris. Settling into a studio in the fashionable neighborhood of lower Fifth Avenue, Hassam was enthralled by the cultural vitality and cosmopolitan airs of the city. Drawing inspiration from his local environs, he recorded the daily activities characteristic of city life and quickly gained considerable acclaim. As epitomized by the present work, The Dewey Arch, a contemporary critic hailed Hassam as "a brilliant painter, a sort of Watteau of the Boulevards, with unlimited spark and gaiety, movement and animation. He suggests a crowd well; he gives you the color of the streets and the tone of the city." (W.H. Howe, G. Torrey, "Childe Hassam," Art Interchange, vol. 34, May 1895, p. 133)

The Dewey Arch was a temporary structure erected on Fifth Avenue and 24th Street in the summer of 1899, in celebration of Admiral George Dewey’s victory over the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. Designed by architect Charles R. Lamb, it was constructed out of plaster and wood shavings by 28 sculptors, including Daniel Chester French and Karl Bitter. Mirroring the permanent Washington Square Park edifice further down Fifth Avenue, Dewey’s Arch served as a focal point for celebratory parades on September 29-30, 1899, which were said to have attracted a crowd of two million spectators.

Drenched in sunlight in Hassam’s depiction, the triumphant columns and angelic statues in The Dewey Arch seem to be singing of victory and exude optimism as the gathering crowds provide a sense of unity and patriotism. William Gerdts writes, “Patterned both formally and ideologically after the Arch of Titus in Rome and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, it was a symbol of the nation’s power and conquests, and in Hassam’s painting it rises up, along with its parade of columns, in gleaming white, towering above the milling crowd of pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages. Through the arch, Fifth Avenue appears to extend endlessly, while at left the Worth Monument can be glimpsed in front of the Madison Square Bank Building, that reddish block contrasted with the blur of trees in Madison Square at the right.” (Childe Hassam: Impressionist, New York, 1999, p. 161)

As in his acclaimed Flag series that would follow in the years of World War I, in The Dewey Arch Hassam brilliantly captures a historic moment steeped in patriotic celebration to embody the enduring energy and spirit of the modern New York metropolis.

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