Impressions of the Delaware Valley
Pennsylvania Impressionists in Rago’s November Art Auctions
1 November 2018
The art colony of New Hope, PA is a small community with a broad reach that produced some of Pennsylvania’s most celebrated Impressionists, including Walter Emerson Baum, Fern Isabel Kuns Coppedge, Nancy Maybin Ferguson, John Fulton Folinsbee, George W. Sotter and Robert Spencer.
Coming to Rago’s Fine Art Auctions on November 10 is a block of locally consigned works by these notable Pennsylvania artists, each fresh-to-market.
This large, untitled night scene by George W. Sotter depicts the artist’s studio from above, an angle which he could only have imagined. It is a Sotter masterwork: a keen demonstration of the artist’s ability to make the darkness light, gilding a cold, blue winter night with the glow of the moon.
Another splendid landscape comes from Fern Isabel Kuns Coppedge, who settled in Lumberville, Bucks County, PA in 1920 and joined the Philadelphia Ten in 1922. Among the most well-known of the Pennsylvania Impressionists, Coppedge employed bright, vibrant colors on canvases that bridge Impressionism and Modernism. Her painting entitled April – also crossing the auction block on November 10 - is also a fine example of her bold use of color in a springtime landscape.
The Pennsylvania Impressionists are known for scenes painted during their travels to various New England locales, including this untitled nautical scene of the Maine shoreline by John Fulton Folinsbee. Despite being stricken with polio and confined to a wheelchair, Folinsbee painted en plein air like many of his peers, depicting landscapes whose real-world subjects have remained largely unchanged to this day.
Additional Pennsylvania Impressionist works from this sale include The Delaware by Walter Emerson Baum, founder of the Baum School of Art and the Allentown Art Museum; an untitled scene of a city hall (likely in Provincetown, MA) by Nancy Maybin Ferguson, also of the Philadelphia Ten; and Windy Day by Robert Spencer, an artist celebrated for his paintings of local mills and the working people of the Delaware River Valley.
Rago Auctions, based in the heart of the Lambertville/New Hope artist colony, is proud to support the secondary market for works by these prominent Pennsylvania Impressionists, works which have inspired decades of artists and created a greater appreciation for the landscapes of Bucks County and the Delaware River Valley.