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Anna Richards Brewster: American Impressionist

Hudson River Museum
June 21 – September 7, 2008

Anna Richards Brewster: American Impressionist is an examination of the struggles and triumphs of an American woman’s career in art in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Brewster (1870-1952) who, at the age of 20, won the prestigious Dodge Prize at the National Academy of Design for the best picture by a woman artist in 1890, continued her success throughout her life and forged the way for other women starting to break into the professional and academic spheres of the art world.

The life and artistic career of this painter, daughter of the noted seascape artist William Trost Richards, were spent striving to express the inexpressible through the visual arts and in the process she became an acclaimed interpreter of nature, capturing its diverse beauty. This exhibition, first seen at the Hudson River Museum, spans Brewster’s 45 most productive years and includes more than 50 plein-air scenes, portraits and still-lifes in oil, watercolor, gouache and pen as well as letters to a friend written from her teenage to early married years.

Brewster traveled extensively, had a studio in England, and exhibited in Europe and America. After her marriage to Barnard College professor William Tenney Brewster in 1905, she settled in Scarsdale, a Westchester community.

Anna Brewster experimented with many different styles of expression and the show is organized by style, from the Barbizon-influenced romanticism of her fantasy A Knight Errant, through the impressionist, loaded brush style of many of her landscapes and portraits like Devout Reading and Clovelly to the realism of her Hopperesque Steam Table. She was influenced by J.M.W.Turner, Childe Hassam and other artists working in the style of Impressionism who contrasted with other influences such as the paintings of Rembrandt and Edward Hopper.

A catalogue accompanies the exhibition, which was organized by Dr. Judith Maxwell in collaboration with Susan Brewster McClatchy for the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art and Science, Fresno, California.

The Hudson River Museum is located at 511 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers NY. Minutes from the Saw Mill River Parkway, exit 9, north or southbound. Information and directions: 914.963.4550 and Wed - Sun 12- 5 pm. Fridays 12-8 pm. Admission: Adults $5; Seniors 62 & older and youth 5-16 $3. Fridays 5 to 8 pm free.

The largest cultural institution in Westchester County, the Hudson River Museum is a multi-disciplinary complex that draws its identity from its site on the banks of the Hudson River, and seeks to broaden the cultural horizons of all its visitors. It engages in the presentation of exhibitions, programs, teaching initiatives, research, collection, preservation, and conservation – a wide range of activities that interpret its collections, interests and communities.




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