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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Hemlock Pool (Autumn)

Photo: Susan Cole

Hemlock Pool (Autumn)

ca. 1894

John Twachtman

Born Cincinnati, Ohio, 1853; died Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1902

At first glance this landscape painting seems wholly non-objective. It is quite possibly a painting that brought Twachtman considerable notoriety as a thoroughly modern artist.

The locale depicted is the hemlock pool on Twachtman's Connecticut farm. He painted aspects of the hemlock pool time and again but never in such a cursory and wholly suggestive manner as in this canvas. In 1894, Twachtman received the most prestigious award at the annual exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for what may have been this canvas. The honor was deemed an outrage by local critics, for the style of the painting was popularly believed to be purely "experimental" and "a passing fancy."

Oil on canvas
15 1/2 x 19 1/2 in. (39.4 x 49.5cm)
Partial and promised gift from a private collection
Provenance: Private collection, Philadelphia, by 1978; [Graham Gallery, New York, 1989]; sold to donor, 1990
Photo: Susan Cole
Not currently on view


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

{possibly Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 65th Annual Exhibition, Dec. 23, 1895-Feb. 22, 1896. Cat. no. 300, Autumn [awarded Temple Gold Medal].}

{possibly New York, New York School of Applied Design for Women, Exhibition of Fifty Paintings by the late John H. Twachtman, Jan. 15-Feb. 15, 1913. Cat. no. 31.}

{possibly Buffalo, New York, Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Albright Art Gallery, Exhibition of Paintings and Pastels by the Late John H. Twachtman, Mar. 11-Apr. 2, 1913. Cat. no. 18.}

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, John Twachtman: Connecticut Landscapes, Oct.15, 1989-Jan. 28, 1990.(Hartford, Conn., Wadsworth Atheneum Mar.18-May 20, 1990). Text by Deborah Chotner, Lisa N. Peters, and Kathleen A. Pyne. Cat. no. 4, p. 31, reproduced p. 92 [as Hemlock Pool-Autumn].

Atlanta, Georgia, High Museum of Art, John Henry Twachtman; An American Impressionist, Feb. 26-May 21, 2000 (Cincinnati, Cincinnati Art Museum, June 6-Sept.5, 1999; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Oct.16, 1999-Jan. 2, 2000). Text by Lisa N. Peters. Cat. no. 34, p. 123, repro. p. 124 [as Hemlock Pool (Autumn)].

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

Published References{Possibly Hale, John Douglass. "The Life and Creative Development of John H. Twachtman." PhD. dissertation, Ohio State University, 1957. Cat. no. 258, p. 456. [as Hemlock Pool-Autumn].}

Boyle, Richard J. "John H. Twachtman; An Appreciation." American Art & Antiques 1, no. 3 (November/December 1978), repro. p. 72 [upside down; as Hemlock Pool, ca. 1890; private collection, Philadelphia].

Boyle, Richard. John Twachtman. New York: Watson Guptill, 1979; p. 40.

Richard, Paul. "John Twachtman's Scenes of Silence." Washington Post, October 22, 1989: p. G10.

Peters, Lisa. N. John Twachtman (1853-1902): A Painter's Painter. Exh. cat. New York: Spanierman Gallery, LLC, 2006; pp. 66-67, repro. fig. 59. [as Hemlock Pool (Autumn)].

Junker, Patricia. "America in the Artful Age." In A Community of Collectors: 75th Anniversary Gifts to the Seattle Art Museum, edited by Chiyo Ishikawa, pp. 195-196, reprodcued fig. 167. Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 2008.

Junker, Patricia. "A Sense of Palce: American Art and the Seattle Art Museum." The Magazine Antiques (November 2008): pp. 113-114, reproduced p. 117, fig. 15.

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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