After an interminably long winter, Memorial Day weekend is almost here. While this year’s winter seemed unusually harsh, and spring’s allergies abnormally potent, the escapist urge presents itself like clockwork every year. And artists, just like the rest of us, take to the beach or the country when the weather gets warm, looking to exchange the hubbub of the city for fresh inspiration in calmer surroundings.
Mary Nimmo Moran, wife of famed Hudson River School landscape painter Thomas Moran, learned to draw and paint from her husband. By the 1870s, she was exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The Morans relocated to New York from Newark, New Jersey in the early 1880s, and in 1884, completed building a studio-cottage in East Hampton, Long Island. Mary Moran became a proficient etcher and made numerous prints and paintings of Long Island. The Long Island landscape above is her first painting to appear at auction.
Thomas Hart Benton summered in Martha’s Vineyard for much of his adult life, and it was there he began painting in the Regionalist style he’s best known for. This landscape of Martha’s Vineyard, circa 1922-24, shows the impact of the setting’s natural beauty on the artist.
Jared French, Siren, egg tempera, circa 1945. Estimate: $70,000 to $100,000.
Jared French, along with Paul Cadmus and Margaret Hoening, was a founding member of the PaJaMa photographic collective; they spent their summers on the remote beaches of New York’s Fire Island. French’s painting Siren exemplifies his use of archetypal symbolism to represent basic aspects of human experience—here, a dockside businessman in a suit oversees the capture of a male nude while a Siren gazes on in dismay. The painting remained in French’s own collection until his death and, as a result, was likely never published or exhibited.