American Impressionism at National Arts Club

The National Arts Club (NAC) launches its 2023-24 exhibitions season on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, with “In a New Light: American Impressionism 1870–1940 | Works from the Bank of America Collection.” Spanning over two floors of the NAC’s landmark building on Gramercy Park, this special exhibition has been loaned through the Bank of America Art in Our Communities program and features more than 130 works from important figures of the American Impressionist movement, including Childe Hassam, George Inness, and John Sloan.

Also featured in the exhibition are 13 artists who were Artist Life Members of the NAC, including Daniel Garber, Ernest Lawson, and Robert Spencer.

The exhibition is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, and Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, from September 5, 2023 to November 22, 2023, at the National Arts Club, located at 15 Gramercy Park South in New York City.

“This exhibition is a vivid showcase of Impressionism in America – the first modern art movement popularized in this country,” David Doty, President, the National Arts Club, said. “This new way of painting, capturing light and color in bold brushstrokes, arose as the National Arts Club was founded and became a central arts institution in this country, which was hungry to learn about the arts. Indeed, more than a dozen of the artists featured were Artist Life Members of the NAC, inexorably linking this exhibit to the history of the club, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.”

About the Exhibition

“In a New Light: American Impressionism 1870–1940” provides a thought-provoking survey of American Impressionism across more than 130 paintings within the historic context of the NAC. This exhibition is something of a homecoming: thirteen of the artists being featured – including such names as Colin Campbell Cooper, Daniel Garber, Ernest Lawson, and Robert Spencer – were themselves Artist Life Members of the NAC, and some of their works remain in the club’s permanent collection to this day.

Moreover, many of the works on display in the NAC’s parlors are works of American Impressionism, meaning that visitors can continue their artistic exploration outside of the galleries themselves. “In a New Light” transports the NAC’s historic Tilden Mansion back to its earliest days, when the very artists whose works are on display once lived, worked, and socialized within its walls.

The exhibition seeks to illuminate the emergence of a uniquely American style in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The artwork reflects the changing mindset of American artists and outlines the evolution and diversity of America’s art colonies, including the New Hope colony in Pennsylvania, of which the NAC maintains its own permanent collection. Across the exhibition, visitors can observe the emergence of radical new ideas and techniques, from the burgeoning influence of French Impressionism to the popularization of working class and urban themes.

Visitors can view pieces such as NAC Artist Life Member Daniel Garber’s lush, movement-filled “Green Mansions,” which he created in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Also part of the New Hope artist colony, painter and fellow Artist Life Member Robert Spencer came to prominence for his depiction of lower-class life in works such as “Afternoon Bathers,” which is also on display. Other American Impressionist masters in the exhibition include George Inness, whose mastery of light, color, and shadow can be seen in such ethereal natural landscapes as “Meadowland in June.”

“In a New Light: American Impressionism 1870-1940 | Works from the Bank of America Collection” has been loaned through the Bank of America Art in Our Communities program. Established in 2009, the program offers museums and nonprofit galleries the opportunity to borrow complete or customized exhibitions at no cost.

The public can enjoy new art installations at its local museums while the museums themselves are able to generate vital revenue. Since 2009, more than 170 exhibitions have been loaned through this one-of-a-kind program.

About the National Arts Club

Founded in 1898, the National Arts Club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to stimulate, foster, and promote public interest in the arts and to educate the American people in the fine arts. Annually, the Club offers more than 150 free programs to the public, including exhibitions, theatrical and musical performances, and lectures and readings, attracting an audience of more than 30,000 members of the general public. Featured programs focus on all disciplines of the arts.

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