Sally brought forth the topic of favorite schools of art, referencing the Pennsylvania Impressionists, this is a great opportunity for anyone to chime in about theirs. The term alma mater means bounteous mother (and no, I didn’t know that off the top of my head) and like any good mother, these schools gave birth to a variety of artistic ideals. Most were regionally based at first, a group of artists all living in the same area and time start to converge, as artists do, to share ideas and ideals and within a few years of self influence a new movement begins. There is a difference between a school (Hudson River school) and a movement (like tonalism), the schools start off in a region and slowly branch out, often times influencing a movement (like impressionism) but sometimes it’s the other way around. George Inness work was informed by the Hudson River school and he is noted for or attached to the movement of Tonalism, an idea in painting that spread across the borders, James Macneill Whistler was a tonalist and he lived abroad.
Back to the Pennsylvania Impressionists, I first took note of this movement after going to a museum in the northeast, might have been at Penn State, where I saw a painting by Daniel Garber. I liked it so much I bought the book and it’s filled with the exquisite paintings of this school, my favorites were Garber, Edward Redfield and Wiiliam Lathrop. Garbers work was delicate and romantic, Redfield would tack a huge canvas between two trees and paint everyday in the snow, often times finishing the whole thing at one go… in the snow and Lathrop did a couple of nocturnes that are the real deal. plus a whole bunch of great almost tonal pieces.
Rather than extolling the virtues of this movement, I’ll ask you, what is your favorite school? Because I think my favorite school could kick your favorite schools ass! You can also use any good ism.