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collections > permanent collection > prints > FREDERICK CHILDE HASSAM

Frederick Childe Hassam
(American, 1859 -1935)
Wayside Inn - Oaks in Spring, 1926
Etching, 10 1/4" x 7"

Gift of the Frank and Margaret Sullivan Fund (96.030)

Childe Hassam was an important American Impressionist as well as a prolific etcher.  Although he is often associated with New England, his prints cover a variety of subjects, ranging from urban views in New York and Paris to country scenes and figure studies.  Wayside Inn – Oaks in Spring depicts a Massachusetts locale made famous by Longfellow’s Tales of a Wayside Inn.  Like much of Hassam’s work, it is a balance of careful compositional planning and spontaneous execution.  Quietly poetic, Wayside Inn emphasizes the sensitivity of the artist’s marks and hence his feeling for his subject.  In this regard, Hassam’s print aptly reflects the general tenor of etchings made during the early decades of the twentieth century.

Born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, Hassam began his career as an apprentice in the shop of a Boston wood engraver.  During the late 1870s, he worked as a freelance illustrator and studied art in hopes of becoming a professional painter.  By the following decade, Hassam had made his way to Paris, where he discovered Impressionism.  Establishing his own studio, he won acceptance to the Paris Salon and the 1889 Exposition Universelle.  Returning to New York in that year, Hassam later helped found the Impressionist group known as “The Ten.”  As Impressionism grew in public esteem, so did Hassam’s success, and during the first ten years of the twentieth century, he won an impressive array of medals and prizes.  Around 1915, Hassam began to pursue etching in earnest, and for much of his later career, he was known as a printmaker as well as a painter.