"Through the use of primary sources, including Redfield's personal letters and his journal, Kimmerle creates a unique and intimate portrait of a committed family man an done of America's greatest impressionist painters."—Ambler GazetteTrained at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and arguably the stylistic leader of the Pennsylvania Impressionist school of painting, Edward W. Redfield (1869-1965) was fascinated by the forces that colored an individual's reaction to nature. His paintings reflected an engagement with the American experience, in an unsentimental impressionist style. A painter of great immediacy, Redfield understood that art was an expressive activity rooted in sensibility and feeling, and advised other artists, "See it, seize it, remember it—then get out and paint it."
The phenomenal popularity of Redfield from 1900 to 1920 cannot be fully understood without considering how his life and work were viewed as the embodiment of a national spirit of the progress of America. Redfield's paintings embodied the rawness and energy of America during a period of transformation from a predominantly agrarian to an industrialized capitalist nation. Not only did these bold, vibrant pictures provide welcome images of the natural world, they exuded a spirit of personal authenticity, and stability for an audience in search of these qualities.
With extraordinary access to the rich collection of the Redfield family archives, Constance Kimmerle is able to broaden the understanding of the artist and his work. Through the use of primary sources including Redfield's personal letters and his journal, Kimmerle creates a unique and intimate portrait of one of America's greatest impressionist painters.
Constance Kimmerle is Curator of Collections at the James A. Michener Art Museum.