Impressionism in the Northwest

November 9, 2019-February 9, 2020

In the early twentieth century, American Impressionism became a movement in its own right, breaking away from the European tradition in a number of ways. Building upon earlier experiments with light and color, artists in the United States utilized broken brushstrokes in novel ways to depict the wide-ranging landscapes of North America. Many exhibitions and publications have explored these differences with respect to artists working on the east coast and, to a lesser degree, in California. Only recently has Impressionism in the Northwest garnered increased academic and public interest.

This exhibition presents Impressionist paintings by artists who lived and traveled in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, including Childe Hassam, Clyde Leon Keller, Sydney Laurence, C. C. McKim, Clara Jane Stephens, John Trullinger, Henry Frederick Wentz, Melville T. Wire, C. E. S. Wood, and Eustace Ziegler. These painters faced a unique challenge in capturing the dynamic Northwest landscape and the unique qualities of light that accompany it. The exhibition features rugged coasts, high deserts, dense evergreen forests, and soaring peaks—such as Mt. Hood and Denali (Mt. McKinley)—depicted by some of the early twentieth century’s foremost American artists.

Organized by the Boise Art Museum

Sponsored by Patty and Alan Head
as well as Individual Artwork Sponsors


IMAGE: Childe Hassam, Mountain Home, Idaho, 1901, oil on panel, 5″ x 8″, Collection of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Slide Jess Perlitz, Forever Washing, 2017, concrete, Styrofoam, water pump, water, rubber tub, Gift of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York; Sculpture Purchase Funds 2019, Boise Art Museum Permanent Collection Slide BAM UNPACKED for kids: Mixed-Media Masterpieces, Boise Art Museum installation detail, 2020 Slide Lisa Kokin, Approximation #3, 2003, Media: mixed-media buttonwork, Gift of Driek and Michael Zirinsky, Boise Art Museum Permanent Collection

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