American, 1892-1972

"Goat Hill", 1923

oil on canvas
signed lower right "John F. Folinsbee", signed and titled on the stretcher
30 x 30 inches

  • Provenance: Estate of the artist until 1978; Private Collection
  • Exhibited: New York, New York, Ferargil Gallery, "Paintings by John Folinsbee", January 24 - February 8, 1924; Dallas, Texas, Texas State Fair, "19th Annual Loan Exhibition of American Paintings", November 1924; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Art Club, "Annual Exhibition", December 15, 1925 - January 3, 1926
  • Literature: Charles H. Caffin, [unknown title] in New York American, January 27, 1924; "Appraisal of Pictures, Estate of John F. Folinsbee", June 20, 1972, (Boston: Vose Galleries, 1972), #420; Kirsten M. Jensen, PhD., "Folinsbee Considered", (Hudson Hills Press, 2013), p. 170, color plate 20; p. 241, 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.350.

    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.

    Framed dimensions: 37 x 36 3/4 x 1 3/4 inches

    As biographer Kirsten M. Jensen notes, 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 and were considered 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 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, "By the early 1920s, Folinsbee's palette had subtly shifted away from the cool purples and blues characteristic of his work from the 1910s, to warmer oranges and bright greens. Upon seeing Folinsbee's annual solo exhibition at Ferargil Galleries in 1924, which included this canvas, critic Charles Caffin remarked that his "latest" paintings reveal a growth on the technical side and have gained in depth and atmosphere. His color is a little higher in key and he is introducing the fresh greens of spring, where before he confined himself to slatey blues and pale browns." Goat Hill exemplifies Folinsbee's successful integration of higher-keyed blues, greens, and oranges into a single composition. The subtle contrast of the orange with the green grass creates a mood that is entirely different from his other works of this period…The poetic atmosphere critics noted in his earlier works is still there, but the introduction of color heightens the overall effect and tightens the design."

    Tags: oil painting, listed artist, Pennsylvania Impressionist, Pennsylvania Impressionism, American Impressionist, American Impressionism, New Hope School, New Jersey
  • Condition: in overall very good to excellent condition; unlined canvas; two dime-sized dots of restoration in the billowing smoke, center right with corresponding patches on the reverse

    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. 

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