American, 1892-1972

"Canal and River", 1930

oil on canvas
signed lower right "John Folinsbee", titled on the stretcher, titled and signed on a label on the reverse
32 x 40 inches

  • Provenance: Estate of the artist until 1978; Private Collection.
  • Exhibited: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, "126th Annual Exhibition", January 25 - March 15, 1931, no. 214, illustrated, awarded Jennie Sesnan Gold Medal; St. Louis, Missouri, City Art Museum of Saint Louis, "26th Annual Exhibition of Selected Paintings by American Artists", September 19 - November 1, 1931; New York, New York, National Arts Club, "Members Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture", January 6 - 30, 1932, no. 52; New York, New York, National Academy of Design, "107th Annual Exhibition", March 27 - April 17, 1932, no. 19; New York, New York, Rockefeller Center, "Municipal Art Exhibition", February 28 - March 31, 1934; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Woodmere Art Museum, "John Folinsbee and American Modernism", November 6, 2010 - March 6, 2011.
  • Literature: "Exhibitions", American Magazine of Art (April 1931); "Pennsylvania's Annual Gets Little Praise from Critics", Art Digest 5, no. 9 (February 1, 1931), p. 5, b/w ill.; Elizabeth Luther Cary, "Easy for the Traveler; This Affair Proves a Fairly Elevated Tableland, Heights Above, Depths Below" in New York Times, February 8, 1931; "City Artists win 4 out of 7 Prizes", in Philadelphia Inquirer, January 25, 1931; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, "Catalogue of the 126th Annual Exhibition", (Philadelphia: The Academy, 1931), illustrated; "[Stand-Alone Illustration]". New York Times, 1 February 1931, illustrated; "New Yorkers Win 4 of 7 Art Prizes", in New York Times, January 25 1931; "The New Hope", 1:5 (December 1933), p. 3, illustrated; "Able if Conservative Prize-Winners", in Art News 39 (January 25, 1941), p. 17, illustrated; "Appraisal of Pictures, Estate of John F. Folinsbee", June 20, 1972 (Boston: Vose Galleries, 1972), #421; Peter G. Cook, "John Folinsbee", (New York: Kubaba Books, 1994), p. 83, illustrated; Kirsten M. Jensen, "John Folinsbee and American Modernism", (Philadelphia: Woodmere Art Museum, 2010), exhibition catalogue (2010 Woodmere Art Museum Phila), p. 20, illustrated; Kirsten M. Jensen, "John Folinsbee and American Modernism", in American Art Review (February 2011), p. 92, illustrated; Kirsten M. Jensen, "Folinsbee Considered", (Hudson Hills Press, 2013), p. 192-193, color plate 37; p. 257, cat entry.
  • Notes: This work is included in the John F. Folinsbee Catalogue Raisonné online project under the direction of Kristen M. Jensen, PhD. as cat. no. JFF.379.

    A copy of "Folinsbee Considered" by Kirsten M. Jensen, PhD, (Hudson Hills Press, 2013) courtesy of the John F. Folinsbee Art Trust accompanies the lot.

    A label from Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, New York is on the reverse.

    In her monograph on the artist, biographer Kirsten M. Jensen notes, "In Canal and River, the faceted planes of nature—as if viewed through paned glass—recall the machinelike forms of Precisionism. Between 1930 and 1936 Folinsbee painted a number of landscapes in a distinctive, proto-Cubist style that he eventually abandoned in favor of the Expressionism that he employed for the remainder of his career. Those six years are bookended by Canal and River and Windy Bush lock, both of which received major awards. In this group of works, objects are reduced to simple geometric volumes—the barge and buildings lining the waterway in Canal and River are composed of flare planes and angles that stand in sharp contrast to the fluid forms of the tree- and snow-covered canal bank, imparting a sense of interior rhythm.

    Folinsbee's ability to balance his dual interest in form and mood produced a dynamic composition that melds structure and representation, and imbues the landscape with evocative human and psychological interest. Perhaps because of its fusion of the formal characteristics of Modernism with a more traditional representation of nature, Canal and River received the prestigious Jennie Sesnan Gold Medal for landscape paintings at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1931."

    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 of Art in Connecticut and the Princeton University Art Museum in New Jersey.

    Tags: oil painting, listed artist, Pennsylvania Impressionist, Pennsylvania Impressionism, American Impressionist, American Impressionism, New Hope School, New Jersey
  • Condition: overall excellent condition, unlined canvas

    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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD “AS IS” IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE. 

Accepted Forms of Payment:

American Express, MasterCard, Money Order / Cashiers Check, Personal Check, Visa, Wire Transfer


As a convenience to the Buyer, Shannon's LLC will make a referral
for packing and shipping. For a preliminary quote you may contact Jeff Von Flatern at [email protected] or 203-453-8866.
Shipping is at the request, expense, and risk
of the Buyer, and Shannon's assumes no responsibility for the
items or the timing of delivery. Insurance for in transit items is the
responsibility of the buyer.

October 27, 2022 6:00 PM EDT
Milford, CT, US


You agree to pay a buyer's premium of up to 27% and any applicable taxes and shipping.

View full terms and conditions

Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,000
$50,000 $99,999 $5,000
$100,000 + $10,000