The Artist's Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887-1920

Philip Leslie Hale (1865-1931), Crimson Rambler, ca. 1908, Oil on canvas, 25 1/4 x 30 3/16 in., Joseph E. Temple Fund, 1909.12

February 13 - May 24, 2015

Opening Preview Reception: Thursday, February 12, 7 - 8:30 p.m.

Historic Landmark Building

Focused on the period 1887-1920, The Artist's Garden exhibition and catalogue will tell the story of American Impressionist artists and the growing popularity of gardening as a middle-class leisure pursuit at the turn-of-the-20th-century, bringing together paintings, sculpture, books, and stained glass.The Artist's Garden will be organized around themes of American Artists/European Gardens; the Lady in the Garden, Leisure and Labor in the American Garden; the Urban Garden: the Artist’s Garden; and the Garden in Winter/Garden at Rest.

Among the artists whose works will be included are: Hugh Henry Breckinridge, Cecilia Beaux, William Merritt Chase, Charles C. Curran, Maria Oakey Dewing, Frederick Carl Frieseke, Daniel Garber, Philip Leslie Hale, Childe Hassam, Violet Oakley, Jane Peterson, Jessie Wilcox Smith, John H. Twachtman, Robert W. Vonnoh, and J. Alden Weir.

The exhibition and publication will include representations of gardens across both the United States and Europe, with special emphasis on the importance of the Philadelphia area, which served as the originator of the Colonial Revival Garden movement with the Centennial Exhibition in 1876.  Moreover, the Philadelphia area was the center of the publishing industry in the early 20th century, which led to the creation of magazines aimed at middle class suburban gardeners like House and Garden (founded in 1901 in Philadelphia).  Philadelphia was also the city that founded the Garden Club of America in 1913.

PAFA is collaborating with a diverse group of gardening organizations in Philadelphia to borrow and exhibit related objects and/or to partner on programming.

A companion exhibition, The Artist in the Garden, will be on view at the James A. Michener Art Museum from February 7 - August 9, 2015. An exhibition of related work by PAFA students, alumni, and faculty, Artists in the Garden: PAFA at Morris Arboretum will be on view from March 1 - June 27, 2015.

The Artist's Garden will make a national tour to four additional venues:

Chrysler Museum of Art
June 16 - September 6, 2015

Reynolda House Museum of American Art
October 1, 2015 - January 3, 2016

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
January 23 - May 9, 2016

Florence Griswold Museum
June 3 – September 18, 2016

Curator: Dr. Anna O. Marley, Curator of Historical American Art




Leading support from the Mr. & Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, Inc and the Richard C. von Hess Foundation. The Major Exhibition Sponsors are Bill and Laura Buck, and Christie’s. Additional support from Edward and Wendy Harvey, Mr. and Mrs. Washburn S. Oberwager, Pennsylvania Trust, Martin Stogniew, in memory of Judy Stogniew, a lover of art and gardening, The Victory Foundation, Ken Woodcock, and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art.

PAFA's special exhibitions in 2014-15 are supported by generous contributions from Linda Seyda and Bob Boris and Jonathan Cohen.


The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ public programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency).




General operating support provided, in part, by