Childe Hassam (1859-1935)
Property from the Collection of Dr. Arthur and Hope S. MillerOver the course of their 60 year marriage living above Gramercy Park in New York City, Dr. Arthur and Hope S. Miller collected a group of art and objects that is impressive in its quality and curation. Together, Arthur and Hope Miller traveled the world widely; both for professional speaking engagements at international conferences and to explore distant lands. Dr. Miller was a highly skilled and respected New York obstetrician and gynecologist who specialized in fertility issues. He was also a Clinical Professor in OB/GYN at the New York University School of Medicine. As a World War II U.S. Navy doctor in the Pacific, Dr. Miller served in the Guam and Okinawa battles. Hope Miller was a graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and was fluent in French, Russian and Spanish. She devoted her career to international development work focused on empowering women in third world countries. At various times, Hope Miller chaired the U.S. Committee for UNIFEM, the New York Metropolitan Committee for UNICEF, the UN Institute of Comparative Government and Education affiliated with the UN Human Rights Commission, and Africa Action on Aids. She also held leading roles on the governing boards of the National Council of UNA/USA, the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund for University Women, Barnard College, and Trickle Up (for which she was honored with the Glen & Mildred Robbins Humanitarian Award). The Millers were great lovers of impressionist art and focused much of their collection on Callibotte, Hassam and Courbet.
Childe Hassam (1859-1935)

Apple Trees in Bloom, Old Lyme

Childe Hassam (1859-1935)
Apple Trees in Bloom, Old Lyme
signed and dated 'Childe Hassam 1904' (lower left)--signed again with initials and dated again (on the reverse)
oil on panel
25 x 30 in. (63.5 x 76.2 cm.)
Painted in 1904.
The artist.
American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, by bequest from the above, 1935.
[With]The Milch Galleries, New York, 1958.
Dr. Simon Stone, Manchester, New Hampshire, acquired from the above, 1960.
Estate of the above.
Wildenstein & Co., New York, by 1970.
Acquired by the late owners from the above, 1971.
American Spirit Magazine, vols. 138-39, 2004, p. 304.
Storrs, Connecticut, The William Benton Museum of Art, Connecticut and American Impressionism: The Art Colony at Old Lyme, March 21-June 21, 1980, pp. 26, 139, no. 180, illustrated.
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Childe Hassam: American Impressionist, June 10-September 12, 2004, pp. 157-59, 407, no. 6, figs. 168, 169, illustrated.

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.

Childe Hassam was a frequent visitor to the Florence Griswold House in Old Lyme, Connecticut, between 1903 and 1909. Apple Trees in Bloom, Old Lyme was painted in 1904 in the gardens of the home. The brushstrokes are vigorously applied with a familiarity that derives from his lengthy affection for the motif of a blossoming fruit tree. The two apple trees in the composition are flanked by the Lieutenant River and the studio Hassam converted from a barn for his stays in Old Lyme. In a letter to J. Alden Weir, Hassam cheerfully wrote of his painting shed there, “You are all well I hope and of course you are enjoying that bully studio! You should see mine here, just the place for high thinking and low living.” (as quoted in Childe Hassam: American Impressionist, New York, 2004, p. 157)

A photograph of Hassam painting the present work in front of this studio is in the collection of the Florence Griswold Museum and Lyme Historical Society Archives. However, despite working from life, the artist certainly employed artistic license, as archeologists have confirmed that no structure stood as close to the river as Hassam painted it. Rather, the site of his studio was likely the northwest corner of the orchard. Through his strategically altered composition in Apple Trees in Bloom, Old Lyme, Hassam emphasizes the sense of an older way of life at a time when New England was increasingly turning toward industry. Susan G. Larkin develops this point further, stating, “the rustic shed and wire fence suggest a farm, not a studio. The combination of an old tree and a young one, implying the past and the future, conveys the nostalgia and optimism that permeated American culture at the turn of the last Century." (Childe Hassam: American Impressionist, p. 157)

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