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The Cornish Hills

The Cornish Hills

1911

Willard Metcalf

Born Lowell, Massachusetts, 1858; died New York City, New York, 1925

Rather suddenly, as a mature artist at the age of fifty, the impressionist painter Willard Metcalf found a landscape subject that would engage him as never before. In the winter of 1909 Metcalf traveled to the artists’ enclave of Cornish, New Hampshire, to visit friends.

In the snow-covered hills there he discovered the beauty of the winter landscape, a landscape reduced to a few solid forms and strikingly contrasting colors, bright blue and shimmering white, so different from the colorful tapestries of spring and autumn. Thereafter, Metcalf made the scenery around Cornish something of a specialty, his magnificent paintings earning him the title “poet laureate of the New England Hills.”

Oil on canvas
35 x 40 in. (88.9 x 101.6cm)
Gift from a private collection
2005.160
Provenance: [Montross Gallery, New York, 1911]; Faith Moore, New York, 1911-unknown; [Kennedy Galleries, New York, 1966-68. Kennedy Quarterly 8, no. 1 (March 1968); and 1975 (possibly continuously)]; [Graham Gallery, New York, and Milch Gallery, New York, 1977]; sold to Tom and Ann Barwick, Seattle, 1977 until present
location
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum

Resources

Exhibition HistoryNew York, Montross Gallery, Fourteenth Annual Exhibition--Ten Amercian Painters, Mar. 17-Apr. 8,1911. {Cat. no.?}

Seattle, Henry Gallery, University of Washington, American Impressionism, Jan. 3-Mar. 2, 1980 (Los Angeles, Frederick S. Wight Gallery, University of California at Los Angeles, Mar. 9-May 4, 1980; Evanston, Illinois, Terra Museum of Amercian Art, May 16-June 22, 1980; Boston, Institute of Contemporary Art, July 1-Aug. 31, 1980). Text by William H. Gerdts. No cat. no., reproduced p. 80.

Seattle, Henry Gallery, University of Washington, One Night of Color, Feb. 7, 1981. No catalogue.

Seattle, Henry Gallery, An American Time: The Artists' View, Art in America from Washington Collections, Oct. 16-Nov. 19, 1981. {Cat. no.?}.

Seattle, Henry Gallery, University of Washington, A Perfect Match: The Pictorial Tradittion, The Horace C. Henry Collection/A Private Collection, Apr. 2-May 25, 1986. No cat. no., n.p., reproduced.

New York, Spanierman Gallery, Ten American Painters, May 8-June 9, 1990. {Cat. no.?}.

Lugano, Switzerland, Villa Favorita, Thyssen-Bornemisza Foundaion, Masterworks of American Impressionism, July 22-Oct. 28, 1990. Text by William H. Gerdts. Cat. no. 44, p.110, reproduced

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Impressionism and Realism: The Painting of Modern Life, 1885-1915, May 10-July 24, 1994 (Fort Worth, Amon Carter Museum, Aug. 21-Oct. 30, 1994; Denver, Denver Art Museum, Dec. 3, 1994-Feb. 5, 1995; Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mar. 12-May 14, 1995).Text by H. Barbara Weinberg, Doreen Bolger, and David Park Curry. Cat. no. 54, pp. 64-66, reproduced p. 65, fig. 52.

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, American Paintings, May 19, 1998-Feb. 1, 1999. No catalogue.

Hanover, New Hampshire, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Winter's Promise: Willard Metcalf in Cornish, New Hampshire, 1909-1920, Jan. 9-Mar. 14, 1999. Text by Barbara J. MacAdam. Cat. no. 4, pp. 44, 70, reproduced p. 45.

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, SAM at 75: Building a Collection for Seattle, May 5-Sept. 9, 2007. No catalogue.

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, American Art Masterworks, Oct. 11-Dec. 7, 2014. No. cat. no.



Published References"Pictures that Charm in the Art Galleries." Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Mar. 21, 1911: p. 11.

{Boston Transcript March 21, 1911.}

"The 'Ten Painters' Once More." New York Mail, March 22, 1911: p. 8.

Dorr, Charles Henry. "American 'Ten' Make Fine Show with Paintings." New York Evening World, March 22, 1911: p. M7.

{Cincinnati Times-Star, March 25, 1911.}

"Fourteenth Annual Exhibition of the Ten American Painters at the Montross Galleries." New York Times, March 26, 1911: part 5, p. 15.

Macbeth, Robert W. "Secessionists Exhibit in New York." Christian Science Monitor, April 1, 1911: p. 15.

"Exhibitions at the Galleries." Arts and Decoration 1 (May 1911): p. 300.

"In the Galleries." International Studio 43 (April 1911): p. 72.

Gerdts, William H. American Impressionism. New York: Abbeville Press, 1984; p. 198, reproduced no. 227.

De Veer, Elizabeth. "Willard Metcalf in Cornish, New Hampshire." The Magazine Antiques 76, no. 5 (November 1984): p. 1211, reproduced p. 1212 fig. 5.

De Veer, Elizabeth and Richard Boyle. Sunlight and Shadow: The Life and Art of Willard L. Metcalf. New York: Abbeville Press, 1987; pp. 103-104, 234, 236-237, reproduced p. 104, pl. 117.

Pope, Laura. "Metcalf's 'Winter Promise' at the Hood." Manchester Union Leader, January 7-10, 1999: p. B 24, reproduced.

Dagostino, Mark. "Cold Beauty of Landscape Captured Painter." Boston Globe, February 14, 1999: pp NH 12, 16, reproduced p. NH 12.

Evans, Iliesiu, Elizabeth C. "Willard Metcalf, Willows in March." Masterworks of American Painting and Sculpture from the Smith College Museum of Art. Ed., Linda Muehlig. New York: Hudson Hills Press, in association with the Smith College Museum of Art, 1999; pp. 141-142, reproduced fig. 31.

MacAdam, Barbara J. "Willard Metcalf in Cornish, New Hampshire." American Art Review 11, no. 1 (1999): p. 151, reproduced p. 145.

Junker, Patricia. "America in the Artful Age." A Community of Collectors. Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 2008; p. 197, reproduced. fig. 168.

Junker, Patricia. "A Sense of Place: American Art and the Seattle Art Museum." The Magazine Antiques (November 2008): p. 114, reproduced pp. 116-117, fig. 13.




Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

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