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Seeing America

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The Bathers

48 3/16 x 148 1/4 in. (122.4 x 376.6 cm)

Childe Hassam
United States (Boston, MA, 1859 - 1935, East Hampton, NY)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ogden Phipps
Accession Number: 1963.27
Location: Currently on view
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This painting hung originally in the home of C.E.S. Wood, a Portland, Oregon lawyer, writer and art collector.

Murals were a common feature of turn-of-the-20th-century interiors, as they complemented the unified design popularized by artists and designers like William Morris and Gustav Stickley.

Monumental buildings like the Boston Public Library as well as cozy residential bungalows were decorated by artists who covered blank walls with colorful, imaginative, and romantic scenes like The Bathers.

MAG’s painting by Impressionist painter Childe Hassam was installed as part of a larger mural in the library/studio of the Portland, Oregon, home of Charles Erskine Scott Wood. A lawyer, writer, connoisseur, and friend of Hassam, Wood was influenced by the late 19th century Arts & Crafts aesthetic that disdained the ornate and cluttered surroundings of the Victorian period and aspired to simplicity and harmonious design. Wood wrote to his friend, the artist J. Alden Weir, that Hassam “whirled in and painted me a whole wall for my studio, and they tell me it is beautiful.”

[Gallery label text, 2008]

Artist's signature, lower left: Childe Hassam 1904

Commissioned from the artist by Charles Erskine Scott Wood, Portland, OR; to his daughter, Mrs. Nan Wood Honeyman; Mr. and Mrs. Ogden Phipps, New York; their gift to the Gallery in 1963

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Web Links See links to web pages and lesson plans
Seeing America Inservice Materials from a teacher in-service presentation Spring 2008
Seeing America Chapter on Childe Hassam's The Bathers, written by Margaret Bullock.

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