Booth Bay Harbor
oil on canvas, 18 x 26
Acknowledged as the stylistic leader and the premier painter of the New Hope School of American Impressionism, Edward Redfield was, in his time, the best-known landscape painter in the country. Born in 1869 in Bredgeville, Delaware, Redfield studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1885 to 1889 under Thomas Anshutz and Thomas Hovenden, and formed a close friendship with Robert Henri. He traveled to Paris in 1889 to study at the Academie Julian with William Bouguereau and Tony Robert-Fleury, and then stayed on in Europe painting in France, Italy and England, until he returned to the States in 1893. He settled in Center Bridge in 1898, where he spent the remainder of his life, summering in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, where he also kept a home. Redfield's presence in Bucks County lured many a young artist to the region, thereby founding what is now referred to as the New Hope Colony of painters. Now best known for his bold and exuberant winter and spring landscape scenes of the Bucks County region, Redfield was one of the first American plein-aire painters, painting his canvases on location and usually in "one-go." Redfield was known to spend the better part of a day, with his canvas strapped to a tree on blustery days, both starting and finishing his canvas. Legends have been formed about a time in Redfield's life when he destroyed a large number of his canvases in a fire, deeming them failures. Redfield painted his last paintings in 1949. Redfield won many medals for his work in the early 20th century, when he exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Corcoran Art Gallery, Chicago Institute and the National Academy of Design, among others. His paintings are included in the most prominent museums and public collections throughout the country, including the National Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Art, the Chicago Gallery of Art, the Los Angeles Museum and others. His work also hangs in many private collections.