DEERFIELD EXHIBIT OF PAINTING
REACHES HIGHEST MARK.
Never before has the exhibition of paintings, held contemporaneously with
the annual display of village industries at Deerfield, reached the high level
of this year.
This is due to two causes, both of which hold much of promise for the future.
In the first place the number of exhibitors has been increased and the new comers
are men who have already achieved much in painting, in the second place the
growth of the older exhibitors in Deerfield has been very great, both in expansion
and in quality.
Conspicuous by their merit are the pictures by Willis Seever Adams. These have
qualities so subtle and so rare that to praise them adequately would seem almost
exaggeration, to say that Mr. Adams is a great painter is perhaps enough. Such
feeling for tone, such sensitiveness to Nature's most delicate phases is given
to few painters to express. Among his many gifts is that of making a large picture
on a small canvas, No. 9, Rotenburg on the Tauber, and 10, Dawn, are striking
examples of this. These pictures are so big in feeilng and in treatment that
it is with surprise we realize they are scarcely two by five inches. The best
of his contributions to this exhibition is No. 13, Dry Docks, Venice. In this
there is real mastery in color, in design and in tone. Mr. Adams is a great
acquisition to the group of Deerfield painters.
Ethelbert Brown is also a newcomer. Mr. Brown has painted several summers in
Deerfield, but he shows his pictures this year for the first time in the Deerfield
exhibition. Mr. Brown's large picture, No. 17, Connecticut River, is very handsome
in design. It shows feeling for large form and is very decorative in intention.
His small picture, No. 16, Connecticut Valley, is charming in color and in atmosphere
quality. Another picture, not in the catalog of a river and hills and fantastic
thunderheads is most interesting.
Elbridge Kingsley, whose reputation as a wood engraver is international, sends
five landscapes of very unusual quality. Mr. Kingsley has a very strong feeling
for color and he is an exception to the rule, that men who have worked in black
and white all their lives have their color sense dimmed. In this particular,
Mr. Kingsley is very alert and as a result of his active color perception and
his inherent decoration feeling his pictures are most original and interesting.
Perhaps the best of his contributions this year is No. 6, The Bend in the River.
This is large in feeling and is treated with a great simplicity.
Augustus Vincent Tack contributes 10 portraits and a landscape. The latter,
No. 3, Plum Blossoms, is in a different vein from the kind of landscapes he
has been known by. There is a rawness perhaps in the green of the budding elms,
but there is a spring feeling in the sky and an atmospheric envelope which is
most pleasing. The portrait of Mrs. Mary P. Wells Smith is most distinguished
in both idea and treatment. Mr. Tack has expressed a beautiful personality in
this portrait. It seems almost typical of the purest qualities of the New England
woman. The portrait of Miss Florence Stebbins is full of girlish charm and vivacity,
the poise of the head is spirited, and the old rose gown and rich dark hair
are beautiful notes in the color scheme. Mr. Tack's work is very sensitive both
to the beauties of nature, and to all those shades of temperament and personality
the true recording of which makes good portraiture.
Will Hutchins sends three landscapes, quite widely apart in range of observation
and in treatment. No. 20, Winter Afternoon, is the best of these. This is a
very original in motive and in breadth of conception. It is perhaps the best
thing he has ever done. No. 19, The Vista, is a very formal presentation of
some cedars through which a nymph is looking over across the hills. No. 21,
The Island in the River, is a very successful rendering of the late twilight.
Ruel Crompton Tuttle contributes a decorative panel, No. 18, Midsummer Night's
Dream. This is very fanciful indeed, the color is opalescent and the effect
of the whole mysterious. It is fairy like in feeling. Mr. Tuttle's work has
great refinement and feeling.