The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts was the first art school and art museum in the country. Founded in 1805 (the same year as Freeman’s), by artists William Rush and Charles Willson Peale, it is also the oldest. The museum is prized for collection of works by leading American and Pennsylvania artists, especially by its exceptionally talented and accomplished alumni and faculty. Housed in a jewel box of a building, designed by architects Frank Furness and George Hewitt in 1871, the façade is a blend of Gothic Revival, Renaissance Revival, and Second Empire styles. The collections at PAFA, as it is known colloquially, are as magnificent as its exterior.
The Academy’s unique proximity to the New Hope area made it especially attractive to the emerging group of Pennsylvania Impressionists, the vibrant artistic community established in 1898, who painted there, though they are not the only school of artists to have graced the Academy’s halls (celebrated director David Lynch also counts himself among the school’s alumni).
• Fern Isabel Coppedge
Fern Coppedge was one of the most significant female artists of the Pennsylvania Impressionist movement. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts invited her to exhibit her work as part of their annual exhibition in 1917. Coppedge’s snow-covered landscapes are among her best work, easily identifiable by their cool-hued and expertly rendered depictions of the Bucks County, Pennsylvania towns along the Delaware River.
Fern Isabel Coppedge (American 1883-1951) "The Delaware Valley,” sold for $308,025 on 12/03/2006
• Edward Redfield
Edward Willis Redfield is arguably the most successful of all of the New Hope Impressionist artists. After graduating from the Academy in 1889, he traveled extensively across England and France, where he continued his studies in Paris. Redfield’s rapid, thick and broad brushstroke style, uniquely applied to canvas with no prior sketching, has made him among the most awarded American artist, second only to John Singer Sargent.
Edward Willis Redfield (American 1869-1965) "Winter Sunlight.” Exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1929. Sold for $710,500 on 03/30/2014.
• Walter Emerson Baum
A prolific painter, Walter Emerson Baum holds the title of being the only artist of the New Hope art colony to have actually been born in the area. He studied at PAFA in 1905 and 1906, and later worked as an educator (and his eponymous Baum School of Art in Allentown, Pennsylvania), and columnist and illustrator for a local newspaper. Inspired by Edward Redfield, Baum’s landscape paintings “expressed a rare affection” for the “light and shadows as they fell across the houses and gateposts of his village,” according to a profile in the New York Times in 1956.
Walter Emerson Baum (American 1884-1956). "Late Summer" Sold For $10,400 on 12/4/2016
• Daniel Garber
Widely known as one of the most influential of the PA Impressionists, Daniel Garber was born in Indiana and studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati before enrolling at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Seemingly never satisfied unless he had a brush in his hand, he spent his summers studying under Thomas Anshutz and Hugh Breckenridge at the Darby School of Painting. His work was exhibited at PAFA in their 1902 annual exhibition. Garber returned to the Academy in 1909, this time as a teacher, and remained there as an instructor for over 40 years.
To be offered June 4th, 2017: Daniel Garber (American 1880-1958) “Lone Sycamore”, oil on canvas.
Freeman's has sold more works by the Pennsylvania Impressionists than any other auction house, and has an unrivaled record in this market. We are also the only auction house to have sales dedicated to this exciting collecting area. Join Freeman’s on June 4 for our American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists sale.