New York Times, New York, NY, “Native artists lead in Carnegie exhibit”, Sunday, May 3, 1908, page 8, not illustrated
ECA Record Control Number: 19262
Record Level: Reference
Record Type: Newspaper
Article Type: Work Mention
Key Title: Native artists lead in Carnegie exhibit
Sub Title: Foreign paitnings at Pittsburg Institute’s annual show lack vigor and freshness. / Medals for prize winners
Publisher: New York Times
Publish Location: New York, NY
Date of Publication: Sunday, May 3, 1908
Page: page 8, not illustrated
Source: Newspapers.com paid subscription
Description: 1 newspaper clipping
Carlsen, Emil, 1848-1932.
Number of copies: 1
“Native artists lead in Carnegie exhibit
Foreign paitnings at Pittsburg Institute’s annual show lack vigor and freshness.
Medals for prize winners
The Necklace, by Thomas W. Dewing, wins first award—full collection of Winslow Homer’s work.
Special to The New York Times.
PITTSBURG, May 2.—The Carnegie Institute’s twelfth annual exhibition of oil paintings, which opened in Pittsburg on April 30, and will continue until June 30, derives its chief interest through the fact that it is international—that it displays not only the works of American but foreign artists. Three hundred and forty-four paintings are enumerated in its catalogue, and of these more than a third have been sent from abroad. Among the foreign nations, England and France have the largest number of exhibits to their credit, but Scotland, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Spain, Austria, Hungary, and even Sweden are worthily represented—that is, if the standing of the painters who have contributed is to be taken as criterion. Naturally these foreign works add materially to the interest of the exhibition.
With a few notable exceptions the foreign works included in this exhibition do not lend distinction through intrinsic merit; in fact, if anything, they lower the standard of the display and give credence to the belief that the chief hope for art is on this side of the sea. Taken as a whole, the work issuing from the foreign studios is not technically bad but inherently spiritless; clever, perhaps, but showing neither inspiration nor enthusiasm, so that passing from picture to picture the thoughtful observer is bound to query: What moves these men and women to paint at all, since, apparently, they have no message and manifest no love for their work? The English pictures for the most part are overpainted; the French trifling and superficial; the German heavy and inartistic; the Belgian dull, and the Italian and Spanish forced.
This does not mean, of course, that there are not exceptions, nor is it intended to suggest by inference that the works of the American painters are faultless or invariably superior. Our native artists are equally open to the charge of experimenting, and their paintings, to a great extent, are also found lacking in maturity. But there is a freshness in their work, a healthy vigor, a feeling for art and an evident inclination to interpret something to them worth while, which engender confidence and carry conviction. An ability merely to portray accurately is not art, nor is superficial cleverness of enduring interest.
The prize awards this year bore testimony to the truth of these facts, or at least to similar convictions on the part of the jury, which was composed of John W. Beatty, John W. Alexander, William M. Chase, Kenyon Cox, Charles H. Davis, Robert Henri, W. L. Lathrop, Albert Neuhuljs, W. Elmer Schofield, and Irving R. Wiles.
The Necklace, by Thomas W. Dewing, to which the gold medal carrying with it a prize of $1,500 was awarded, is a painting of exquisite refinement, replete with artistic feeling. It shows a young woman in a dainty striped gown of gray silk, seated before a long mirror toying with a pearl necklace. The wall which serves as a background is a pale yellow, and in the pattern of the lady’s gown the same note finds repetition. In a measure it is impresionistic, using the word not in tis perverted sense, but it is at the same time profoundly studied. Loving dalliance is shown in its execution as well as indivisually in its particular mode of rendering.
The second award, a silver medal carrying with it a prize of $1,000, was no less well bestowed, for Henri Le Sidanner’s Grand Canal: Moonlight is one of those pictures which would declare its merit in any collection. Reticent in handling, and simple in composition, it is found beautiful both in color and tone, luminous and at the same time atmospheric. Not a usual picture of Venice nor a commonplace nocturne, but a fresh poetic interpretation of an ever lovely theme.
To Emil Carlsen’s Surf, a strong, convincing picture of the sea, familiar in this city through previous exhibitions, went, as has already been announced, the third prize of $500; and A Roman Afternoon, by Frederick Clay Bartlett of Chicago, Venetian Girl, by Charles W. Hawthorne of New York, and In a Variety Theatre, by Arthur Kampf of Berlin, received honorable mention, doubtless on account of their originality of connection and technical cleverness.
No task probably is more difficult than to rank according to merit three or six pictures out of a possible two or three hindred (eliminating the works of the jurors and those who have previously received awards) when a great variety of subjects are comprehended and many modes of rendering employed; but there seems little reason to believe that these awards will not receive general indorsement.”
WORKS BY EMIL CARLSEN
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February 22, 2017
February 22, 2017