American, 1892-1972

"Canal Lane", 1919-1920

oil on canvas
signed lower left "John F Folinsbee", titled, signed inscribed in pen on card tacked to top of stretcher "$400"
24 x 30 inches

  • Provenance: Estate of the artist until 1978; Private Collection
  • Exhibited: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, McClees Gallery, "Paintings of John F. Folinsbee", November 1 - 25, 1920, cat. no. 9; New York, New York, Ferargil Gallery, "Paintings by John Folinsbee", March 1921; Cincinnati, Ohio, Cincinnati Museum of Art, "28th Annual Exhibition", May 28 - June 30, 1921.
  • Literature: "Appraisal of Pictures, Estate of John F. Folinsbee, June 20, 1972", (Boston, Massachusetts: Vose Galleries, 1972), no. 438; Kirsten M. Jensen, "Folinsbee Considered", (Manchester, Vermont: Hudson Hills Press, 2013), p. 56 (illustrated in color), p. 234, cat. no. 1182.

    Kirsten M. Jensen notes, John Folinsbee started his career with a splash. By 1915, at the age of 23, he had already had his first solo exhibition, his first traveling exhibition, important gallery representation at Macbeth in New York, and his first award from a jury in a national exhibition. During his lifetime, works sold for five-figure sums to important collectors and museums in Chicago, Cleveland, Houston and Los Angeles and his paintings were exhibited at international venues as representative of American art.

    Folinsbee always intended to be an artist, attending children's classes at the Art Student's League of Buffalo at just nine years old. His family moved to Boston where Impressionists Frank Weston Benson and Edmund Tarbell dominated the art scene. In 1906, he had Polio and left the city to recover with his relatives in Plainfield, New Jersey. There, he met Jonas Lie, a strong advocate of plein air painting. Folinsbee spent a few months with Lie before moving to attend the Gunnery school in Washington, Connecticut.

    In Connecticut, Folinsbee was encouraged to continue painting landscapes by Frank Vincent Dumond and the writings of Birge Harrison who was then at Woodstock. Motivated by Harrison's writings, Folinsbee first arrived at Woodstock in the summer of 1912 and would return in 1913 and 1914 and in the winter between those years. Folinsbee boarded at Birge Harrison's house and was exposed to Harrison as a mentor even though he was no longer actively teaching. Together with Harry Leith-Ross the young artists stayed in Woodstock under the tutelage of Harrison in the winter between 1913-1914.

    In 1914, Folinsbee married and two years later moved with his wife, Ruth Baldwin, to New Hope, Pennsylvania. Edward Redfield, Daniel Garber, Robert Spencer and William Lathrop were already painting there and Folinsbee would join their ranks as a member of the now coined New Hope School or the Pennsylvania Impressionists.

    Of the present lot Jensen notes, "In "Canal Lane"— a canvas reminiscent of [Robert] Spencer's work in both subject and tone– the pearly atmosphere is still there, but the brilliant red of the mule's blanket and the subtle blending of greens, reds and blues in the surrounding buildings unify and enliven the composition and suggest a new, more sophisticated use of color."1

    Folinsbee's work was regularly included in national exhibitions of American art. He was elected as an associate member of the National Academy in 1919 and a full academician in 1928. Today his work can be viewed in numerous public collections including the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the New Britain Museum in Art in Connecticut and the Princeton University Art Museum in New Jersey.

    1 Kirsten M. Jensen, Folinsbee Considered, (Easthampton, Massachusetts: Hudson Hills Press, 2013), p. 56.

    Tags: oil painting, listed artist, Pennsylvania Impressionist, American Impressionism, 20th century, industrial, Bucks County
  • Condition: in excellent original condition; unlined canvas; no restoration apparent under UV

    We are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Shannon’s is merely a subjective qualified opinion. Frames on all paintings are sold "As Is". Frames may need some conservation. 

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