Gari Melchers’ iconic painting of a New York City park is prominently featured in the exhibition “American Art 1912: The Mattatuck Museum’s Centennial Exhibition” in Waterway, Conn., through Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. Melchers’ piece, “Bryant Park (Twilight),” is the only original painting in the museum’s display. The painting is owned by Gari Melchers Home and Studio located in Fredericksburg.
The Mattatuck Museum was first organized as an historical society, and in 1912 inaugurated an art exhibition program as part of its mission. To mark the 100-year anniversary of the program, the Mattatuck Museum is recreating its November 1912 exhibition, which comprised a group of artists represented by New York’s Montross Gallery. Most of these artists were either Impressionists or Tonalists. Among the 19 artists included was Gari Melchers who displayed three paintings, one of which was “Bryant Park (Twilight).” Because the Mattatuck curators have been unable to borrow or locate any of the other original paintings, they will gather examples, “as close in spirit as possible,” leaving “Bryant Park (Twilight)” as the only original piece to appear in both shows, exactly 100 years apart.
Between 1905 and 1909, important exhibitions and portrait commissions kept Melchers in the United States for extended periods. The view from his studio window in the Beaux Arts Building, adjacent to Bryant Park and the New York Public Library, inspired his first series of urban subjects executed in the style of Impressionism.
Gari Melchers Home and Studio is a 27-acre estate and former residence of the artist Gari Melchers and his wife, Corinne. The property, which is operated by the University of Mary Washington, is both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.
Located at 224 Washington St. in Falmouth, Va., a quarter mile west of the intersection of U.S. 1 and U.S. 17, it is open daily, except Wednesdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular admission charges apply. For directions and other information, call (540) 654-1015 or visit the museum website at www.GariMelchers.org.
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News release prepared by: Charlotte Rodina