I. Glackens, William Glackens and The Eight: The Artists Who Freed American Art, New York, 1983, pp. 170-177
R.J. Wattenmaker, "William Glackens's Beach Scenes at Bellport," Smithsonian Studies in American Art, vol. 2, no. 2, Spring 1988, pp. 74-94
William Glackens painted his most successful Impressionist works from 1911 until 1916 while spending his summers on the south shore of Long Island at Bellport. There in the company of his family and friends he developed a fully Impressionist technique, a painting style that he had become familiar with when travelling to Paris in 1912 to select and purchase paintings for Albert C. Barnes, the distinguished collector of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings.
Of the works that Glackens completed during the summers at Bellport, R.J. Wattenmaker has written, "The beach scenes painted by William Glackens during the six summers the artist and his family spent at the seashore in and around Bellport, Long Island, constitute a single American contribution to the international tradition of Impressionism. From 1911 through 1916 Glackens painted an extended series of motifs of figures at the beach, bathers along the shore and in the water, enjoying carefree recreation under the sunlit skies of Great South Bay . . . In his Bellport beach scenes Glackens created a body of work that thoughtful critics and collectors have acknowledged to be among his most distinctive achievements." ("William Glackens's Beach Scenes at Bellport," Smithsonian Studies in American Art, vol. 2, no. 2, Spring 1988, p. 75)
Glackens had the opportunity to examine many Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings during his visit to Paris on behalf of the collector Albert Barnes in 1912. Travelling with his friend and fellow painter Alfred Maurer, Glackens visited the most prominant galleries of the day that sold such pictures, including Durand-Ruel and Bernheim-Jeune. At the same time Glackens and Maurer made the acquaintance of Leo and Gertrude Stein who introduced them to the work of Matisse, whose brilliant color harmonies were largely unknown to Glackens. The impact of this visit can be clearly seen in The Green Beach Cottage, Bellport, Long Island.
Like many American Realist and Impressionist painters who found inspiration in summer watering-holes along the east coast, Glackens was attracted to Bellport not only because of the subjetct matter it offered, but also because of the casual lifestyle and summertime activities that he could pursue there. H.B. Weinberg, D. Bolger and D.P. Curry have noted, "As Glackens recorded it in many works . . . the shoreline [at Bellport] was punctuated by rickety gazebos, jetties, rafts and water slides, and dressing sheds and [it] seems extremely commonplace in comparison with the elegant beaches that Boudin depicted at Deauville or Trouville or that Chase recorded at Shinnecock. The liveliness of his figures' poses and of his paint application is entirely consistant with the casual energy and spontaneous activity associated with the young people whom Glackens pictures." (American Impressionism and Realism: The Painting of Modern Life, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1994, p. 12) Glackens selected a site for The Green Beach Cottage, Bellport, Long Island that was close to the center of the summertime activities, such as the Bellport Yacht Club.
Glackens's special ability to develop a highly personal Impressionist technique and to translate the optimistic and carefree qualites of summertime onto canvas was recognized during his day. Albert E. Gallatin wrote, "It is interesting to follow Mr. Glackens's artistic growth, to see how his art has developed. Like all genuine artists, he has never been satisfied with his work, but has ever been an investigator, a seeker after new knowledge, hoping to increase his accomplishments . . . the beach scenes, completely enveloped in sparkling and joyous sunshine, in which the figures are placed in the landscape in a most masterly manner . . . are paintings which disclose his genius at its best." ("William Glackens," Magazine of Art, vol. 2, May 1916, p. 263)