'American Impressionism: Treasures from the Daywood Collection' Will Travel to Several Museums

  • November 29, 2020 16:30

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Edward Willis Redfield, Road and River, 1926. Gift of Ruth Woods Dayton. Huntington Museum of Art.
photo: John Spurlock
William Robinson Leigh, The Pursuit, Kayenta Arizona, 1924. Ruth Woods Dayton. Huntington Museum of Art.
photo: John Spurlock

Drawn from the collection of West Virginia's Huntington Museum of Art, the traveling exhibition American Impressionism: Treasures from the Daywood Collection features 41 elegant American paintings, originally from the private collection of Arthur Dayton and Ruth Woods Dayton. The Daytons (whose family surnames combine to form “Daywood”), were prominent art patrons in early 20th century West Virginia who acquired over 200 works, 80 of which were oil paintings. Active at a time when art patronage played a major foundational role in the growth of many museum collections, the Daytons sought to preserve and share artworks that they felt captured the essence of American life.

Arthur Bowen Davies, Esmeralda, ca. 1915. Gift of Ruth Woods Dayton. Huntington Museum of Art.
photo: John Spurlock

The Daytons had entered the collecting world in 1916 when they received a gift of the painting Munich Landscape, by Ross Sterling Turner, as a wedding present. That would be the beginning of a collection that would eventually number more than 200 works of art, including more than 80 paintings.

Many of the works are modest in size, deliberately chosen to fit comfortably in their Charleston, West Virginia, residence. The collection includes many of the great names in 19th and 20th century American art, such as Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer and others, as well as stellar examples of European art including Henri Le Sidaner’s Window on the Bay of Villefranche, the First Prize winner in the prestigious 1925 Carnegie International Exhibition.

Charles Webster Hawthorne, The Widow, before 1913. Gift of Ruth Woods Dayton. Huntington Museum of Art.
photo: John Spurlock

The traveling exhibition, American Impressionism: Treasures from the Daywood Collection, showcases work from a transitional time in American art, approximately the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when artists abandoned the rigors of academic styles and subjects. They turned instead to intimate scenes of the cultivated countryside and figure studies of friends and neighbors that reflected the more modern influences of the Barbizon School, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism. Robert Henri, George Inness, George LuksHomer Dodge MartinGari MelchersJohn Sloan, John Twachtman, and J. Alden Weir are among the notable artists featured in the exhibition.

Julian Alden Weir, June - Connecticut, 1896. Gift of Ruth Woods Dayton. Huntington Museum of Art.
photo: John Spurlock

While 40 of the collection's artworks are touring, the Huntington Museum of Art will show highlights of The Daywood Collection from January 23 - July 11, 2021, with favorites such as Childe Hassam’s stellar work from his famed “flag” series, Lincoln’s Birthday Flags, 1918.

The traveling exhibition continues to several locations into 2023 (contact venues for updates):

Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN
September 19, 2020 – December 13, 2020

Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center, Lake Charles, LA
January 16, 2021 – March 13, 2021

Lightner Museum, St. Augustine, FL
April 8, 2021 – July 5, 2021

Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, FL
July 31, 2021 – October 24, 2021

Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, FL
November 18, 2021 – February 13, 2022

Las Cruces Museum of Art, Las Cruces, NM
April 29, 2022 – July 23, 2022

Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane, WA
October 1, 2022 – January 8, 2023

Tags: american art

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