Sharon Lorenzo’s seventh profile features a work by Childe Hassam, The Mill Pond, 1902, from The Bruce Museum permanent collection.
The Mill Pond- Childe Hassam (1859-1935)
Frederick Childe Hassam was an American artist, born near Boston and self-educated after high school with jobs as an illustrator for local firms and publications like Harper’s Weekly. Although an uncle offered to send him to Harvard when his father’s business burned down, he declined the offer and found great success in the art field which funded a life time of travel, exploration, and artistic endeavors. This painting of the Mill Pond, painted in 1902, particularly resonates with a visiting exhibition of works by the French painter, Alfred Sisley, who painted on the other side of the Atlantic at the same time as Hassam was working in America. The Bruce Museum is fortunate to be well- funded and is therefore able to borrow works of art that complement their own holdings from their permanent collection.
Alfred Sisley ( 1839-1898 ) The Seine at Bougival
Yale University Art Gallery, gift of HJ Fisher 1896
The exhibition of the work of Alfred Sisley (1822-1909) includes loans from nearby institutions like the Yale University Art Gallery and distant partners like the Thyssen Collection in Madrid. Sisley, like Hassam, was a self-educated artist who was befriended by the Impressionist school and found success with local dealers and occasional shows in the French salon . The breadth and range of his work now shown at the Bruce reveals how much he shared the love of the landscape in all seasons with Hassam, and how artists at the turn of the century were captivated by the play of light on water surfaces and the tranquility of boats at rest. Their paintings show the magnificent range of colors captured in full sunlight, shining brightly for the lucky visitor to the Bruce Museum.
Voted the loveliest museum in Fairfield County, Connecticut, the Bruce Museum was the private home of Francis Lister Hawks purchased in 1853. A breath from Long Island Sound, it is surrounded by quiet gardens and private spots to contemplate the great outdoors. It was then purchased in 1858 by cotton merchant Robert Moffet Bruce and given to the town of Greenwich in 1908 for conversion to a public museum. Its first show was in 1912 as the annual exhibit for the Cos Cob Art Colony.
Robert Moffett Bruce (1822-1909)
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Bruce Museum has lectures and symposia by specialists. The best and the brightest of scholars are often featured as a tribute to the director, Peter Sutton, formerly the head of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. In addition to this wonderful work by Childe Hassam the permanent collection of the museum contains 15,000 objects which include paintings, sculptures, photographs and works of scientific importance. With 70,000 annual visitors, the museum often has 3 or 4 exhibits running at the same time for many audiences.
The museum is free to all on Tuesdays 10-5pm, and children under 5 years are always admitted at no cost. A visit to the Bruce Museum is always a treat for any lover of great works of art !