“A Privileged View,” Paintings by Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932) at The Cooley Gallery

  • September 02, 2010 17:53

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Lockwood de Forest (1850 - 1932) Montauk, Long Island, signed lower left, oil on canvas, 30" x 48"
The Cooley Gallery

"A Privileged View" is among the first public exhibitions of both plein air sketches and major easel paintings by the artist Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932). Closely held by the artist during his lifetime, and subsequently by his family, these often intimate and consistently vital works from de Forest’s worldly travels will be presented by The Cooley Gallery, in Old Lyme, Connecticut, from October 9 to November 13, 2010.

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.

Lockwood de Forest (1850 - 1932) Temple Ruins, initialed "L de F" lower right, oil on paper, 7" x 9 1/2"
The Cooley Gallery

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 handicrafts.

Examples of his Orientalist designs are in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among other institutions.

His teak imports, carved in India, also still reside in the homes of other leading lights of the 19th century, such as Church's Persian-style Olana, a historic site in Hudson, New York, and Rudyard Kipling's Shingle style retreat in Vermont, now a rental property of the Landmark Trust.

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 for the White House and Samuel Clemens's mansion in Hartford.

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.

Lockwood de Forest (1850 - 1932) Desert Coast, initialed "L de F" and dated "May 12, 1876" lower left, oil on paper, 9 1/2" x 14"
The Cooley Gallery

“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. “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”.

In 1922, de Forest and his family settled in Santa Barbara, Calif., where he focused on landscape painting until his death in 1932.

The Cooley Gallery 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, from colonial to contemporary.

A Privileged View, 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 if open to the public and admission is free.

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