“The Perfect Medium,” Paintings by Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932)

  • OLD LYME, Connecticut
  • /
  • September 27, 2010

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Lockwood de Forest (1850 - 1932) Seascape with Boats. signed. L de Forest, and dated 1891, lower left. Oil on canvas, 17" x 24". Courtesy of The Cooley Gallery.
The Cooley Gallery

The Cooley Gallery is delighted to announce the exhibition and sale The Perfect Medium, Paintings by Lockwood de Forest opening in Old Lyme, Saturday, October 9th through November 13th, 2010.

The Perfect Medium is among the first public exhibitions of both plein air sketches and major easel paintings of the artist Lockwood de Forest.  Closely held by the artist during his lifetime, and subsequently by his family, we are privileged to present these often intimate and consistently vital works from the artist’s worldly travels.

Born in New York to a long established family of means, de Forest took advantage of the many opportunities granted to him. As a young man he traveled extensively, painting and sketching with members of the Hudson River School. He developed a lifelong friendship with renowned American painter Frederic Edwin Church, who was also a distant relative.

History documents de Forest as an advocate of the East India craft movement in American interior style. He was also an importer and designer of exotic handcrafts with examples of his designs in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One of the designer’s more famous endeavors was his partnership with Louis Comfort Tiffany, Samuel Colman and Candace Thurber Wheeler in the design firm Allied Artists (1879), a short lived union but one which included prestigious commissions at the White House and Samuel Clemens mansion in Hartford.  

“What’s remarkable is the sense that these are very personal traveling notes by an artist with a sublime sense of design,” Jeff Cooley, owner of The Cooley Gallery comments. “The opportunity to exhibit art by a man with this breadth of talent is a great privilege for us. These paintings encompass an artist’s lifetime and are the ones he held on to. They are intimate and yet worldly views capturing the immediacy of atmosphere, mood and place”.

DeForest painted throughout his lifetime. In this exhibition there are early works from his travels in the Middle East portraying the acrid sun of the desert in stark contrast to the paintings from his summer travels in Maine as well as those painted later in his life along the coast of California with their uniquely Pacific atmosphere.

This exhibition will preview at USArtists American Fine Art Show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Friday through Sunday, October 1-3, 2010 at its new location of the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts at 128 North Broad Street.  The show is presented by the Women’s Board of PAFA, and is the 18th show and sale of over 5,000 works of art.

The Perfect Medium, Paintings by Lockwood de Forest will open at The Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme on Saturday, October 9th with an opening reception from 4 – 8 p.m.  This event is open to the public and admission is free.

Tags: American art

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