Friday, August 13, 2010

LYME COLONY


In 1886 while working for the New York Daily Graphic, Frank Vincent DuMond gained exclusive access to the funeral of New York Governor Samuel J. Tilden and drew sketches of the event at the family's home. According to DuMond's New York Times obituary, the artist "passed the police lines (with Horace Greeley and others of note), the only reporter to do so (and) concealed himself behind some curtains and sketched the scene. The next day, The Graphic appeared with an exclusive two-page spread of the Tilden funeral, and in a few weeks the artist was at Harper's Weekly Magazine."
The coverage in The Graphic proved to be a turning point for DuMond, leading to his work with Harper and Brother's editor Horace Bradley, who later offered him the position of instructor at the Art Students League. DuMond worked with Bradley on magazine and book illustrations for several years. Horace Bradley eventually became president of the Art Students League, and he persuaded DuMond to take over the classes of a retiring instructor at the League. So began DuMond's life-long commitment to teaching, a decision that had far-reaching effects.
(Seasons of Life: American Impressionism and Frank Vincent DuMond at Traditional Fine Art Online, Inc.-TFAOI.COM)
Frank Vincent DuMond (1865-1951) is hardly a household name today, but in his time he was an important figure in American art. A deft painter of landscapes, portraits, still lifes, and murals, he was also one of the great teachers in the art history.
Born in Rochester, N.Y., the son of a manufacturer of ornamental iron, DuMond acquired a love of nature through his mother, a dedicated gardener. In 1884 he enrolled in night classes at New York's Art Students League, where his teachers included J. Carroll Beckwith and William Sartain. By day DuMond worked as an illustrator for the New York Daily Graphic. For many years DuMond also produced illustrations for other leading magazines of the day and for books.
Soon after he began teaching at the Art Students League, DuMond led several pioneering summer classes for American pupils in France. After DuMond married one of his students, Helen Xavier, in 1895, the couple wintered in Paris and summered in southern France for the next five or six years.
(Adapted from ‘Seasons of Life’ by Stephen May at antiquesandthearts.com)


Frank DuMond with his Art Students League Class, ca. 1894
Archives of American Art


Storm Swept Farm, France
From fada.com


Garden Steps in Southern France
Oil on canvas, 1897
Private collection
From TFAOI.COM


Margaree River Valley, Nova Scotia
oil on canvas
From cooleygallery.com


Margaree Valley, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
oil on canvas
From bantamfinearts.com


Artists on the front porch
The Griswold House, c. 1903
Frank DuMond at far left
From florencegriswoldmuseum.org


By 1906, the popularity of the art classes seemed to threaten the idyllic qualities that the Old Lyme artists found inviting, and the school was encouraged to move its summer sessions elsewhere. It moved to Woodstock, New York. During this same year, the DuMonds purchased an old Colonial farmhouse on Grassy Hill Road in Lyme with views of Long Island Sound a mere five miles away. This life in the country was both satisfying and productive for DuMond. After settling near the top of Grassy Hill, DuMond began to change his artistic style from an earlier darker tonalist technique associated with Ranger and his circle, to a lighter and brighter approach. His somewhat modified blend of Impressionism was most likely influenced by the sunlit landscapes near his country home, literally across the road,
When not in Lyme, the DuMonds lived in the middle of the New York art world at the artist cooperative building on W. 67th Street in New York. However, DuMond told a New York reporter in 1907 about his fondness for Grassy Hill: “Every year I grow more deeply attached to my summer place and less inclined to leave it. All of us who are associated with the Lyme colony I think have the same feeling, and our summer term has every season a more and more elastic term.” Despite the school’s new location, DuMond continued to give private art lessons in Lyme, probably as late as 1915, and counted Ellen Axson Wilson (President Woodrow Wilson’s first wife) among his Old Lyme students.
(florencegriswoldmuseum.org)


Arts Students League class, ca. 1910
Archives of American Art


Miss Florence Griswold, c. 1915
From florencegriswold.org
Returning to New York soon after the turn of the century, he resumed teaching at the Art Students League. Soon he began spending summers in Old Lyme, Conn. At first he stayed at Miss Florence Griswold's celebrated boardinghouse (now a museum bearing her name), headquarters for tonalist and then Impressionist artists of the Lyme art colony.
In Old Lyme, where he maintained friendships with numerous members of the art colony, DuMond reveled in the gardens, pastures, trees, rock outcroppings, overflowing greenery, and old structures around this rural enclave.
(‘Seasons of Life’ by Stephen May at antiquesandthearts.com)


Frank Vincent DuMond Sketchbook 188
graphite and ink
Archives of American Art


Autumn in Lyme
Oil on canvas, 1925
Courtesy N. Robert Cestone, Rowayton, CT
From TFAOI.COM


Planting Season, Lyme
Oil on canvas, c. 1925
Courtesy N. Robert Cestone, Rowayton, CT
From TFAOI.COM


Lyme Meadows
oil on canvas
From senecio.net


Drank DuMond teaching, ca. 1927
Archives of American Art


By the end of his career he had served on the faculty of the Art Students League of New York for nearly sixty years…..His Monastic Life (Private collection) shows the application of plein-air naturalism to a Salon type genre scene.
DuMond’s more liberal approach to painting made him a popular teacher: he would influence hundreds of students. Frequently, he provided his class with a theme, such as "harvest" or "north wind," and each student prepared a painted sketch on his understanding of the subject. The works were completed without the use of models or nature studies and were intended to focus the student on the emotional context of a theme. "The arrangement takes care of itself so long as the effort to suggest the true emotional value and truths of nature are followed" ( DuMond, 1909, p. 176). Hence, chiaroscuro contrasts, regardless of color, the sense of movement and vitality derived from the sweep of a brush, the sense of strength achieved from the focus of light, and the simplicity of arrangement became primary considerations in the achievement of a fine picture. Careful reviews enlightened and encouraged DuMond’s students to produce more thoughtful renderings.
Technical achievement became a separate focus of study, created from careful observations of nature and live models. DuMond, however, was initially opposed to painting en plein air, as many advocated. In using live models, notations were made on-the-spot; then one returned to the studio and applied them to a more finished work. This complex system was also advocated by Birge Harrison, director of the Art Students League Woodstock School of Landscape Painting. As DuMond instructed students, he combined a working knowledge of both the impressionistic and the academic, encouraging his pupils to establish an individuality founded upon an understanding of fundamental academic principles: The student in making these compositions should have these things impressed upon him so that when he goes to nature his efforts shall not be with his paint and brush alone, but shall be in the direction of observing nature in these, her real, true moods. And conversely when he turns from nature to artistic expression, it is the knowledge of such things which are the all-important factors in his success - DuMond, 1909, p. 179.
(About Frank V. DuMond at rhlovegalleries.com)


Frank Vincent DuMond at work
From SIRIS at sirismm.si.edu


Frank DuMond in class with students, ca. 1935
Archives of American Art


Frank DuMond standing by old farm house, ca. 1940
Archives of American Art at aaa.si.edu


Frank DuMond painting outdoors, ca. 1941
Archives of American Art at aaa.si.edu


Frank DuMond in his studio , ca. 1946
Richard V. Gee, photographer
Archives of American Art at aaa.si.edu


Frank DuMond lecturing in class, ca. 1946
Richard V. Gee, photographer
Archives of American Art


Art Student League Celebration
Frank DuMond and friends at, ca. 1949
Tom Milius, photographer
Archives of American Art


Frank DuMond at the National Arts Club, ca. 1950
Richard V. Gee, photographer
Archives of American Art


Dumond was one of the foremost and most influential teacher-painters in America during the 20th century. He was a member of the NAD; American Academy of Arts & Letters; Art Students League; Century Association; Hudson Valley Art Assoc.; Lotus Club; Lyme Art Association; National Arts Club; National Society of Mural Painters; Players Club, NYC; Salmagundi Club; Society of American Artists; Society of Illustrators and the Yonkers Art Club. His paintings are in the permanent collections of the American Academy of Arts & Letters; Art Association of Richmond, IND; Art Students League; NAD; Denver Art Musem; Lyman Allyn Art Museum, CT; New Britain Museum of Art; Portland Art Museum, OR; San Francisco Public Library; Society of Illustrators, NY; and more.
(Source PIERCE GALLERIES, INC.)


2 comments:

Sarah said...

The photo at the top that you have listed as Frank Vincent DuMond is not DuMond. It is of DuMond's son in-law Walter Merton Perry.

From the great-granddaughter of DuMond and granddaughter of Perry.

rompedas said...

Thanks Sara,
I have made the necessary adjustment.