“The Artist’s Garden” will be the next film in the Exhibition on Screen series that has proved so popular at Harbor Theater this winter. The film will be screened on Friday, May 10 at 2 p.m.
The film tells the intertwining stories of American Impressionism and The Garden Movement which flourished in America between 1887–1920. With increasing urbanization prompting the emerging middle-class to seek refuge in the suburbs, they began to spend their free time and wealth cultivating impressive private gardens.
When French art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel brought a selection of impressionist paintings to New York in 1886, he changed the course of art in America entirely. Many American artists, inspired by what they saw, made the pilgrimage to study in Monet’s Giverny, and were keen to employ their experience to capture America’s own unique landscapes. In doing so, they captured a unique moment in America’s history - a snapshot of a nation transitioning from a land of agriculture to a land of industry.
“The Artist’s Garden” follows the sell-out exhibition on its journey from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to the ‘home’ of the movement - Florence Griswold’s colony at Old Lyme, Connecticut. The colony attracted a host of influential painters including Henry Ward Ranger and Willard Metcalf.
Audiences will also be transported to Appledore Island, run by poet Celia Thaxter, where preeminent impressionist artist Childe Hassam produced 300 works over three decades. The film reveals how Celia Thaxter and other American women saw the garden not only as a beautiful oasis but an important political space for women. As gardening’s popularity rose, women began to take on new professional roles, from garden design to horticultural writing, and lead activist movements to protect native species.
The Artist’s Garden is a truly immersive film, offering a unique opportunity to get up-close to the greatest examples of American Impressionism, and to understand the unique cultural moment in which they were produced.
The next film in the Exhibition on Screen series this year will be June 7 when the film Van Gogh and Japan will explore how Van Gogh’s fascination with Japanese art (studying and collecting Japanese woodblock prints) influenced his work. The final film will be Painting the Modern Garden, Monet to Matisse, focusing on how the famed French impressionists and early 20th century artists combined art with horticulture in their lives and work, planting gardens just the way they wanted to paint them.
Next year’s Exhibition on Screen series will start in November 2019 and continue through the summer of 2020, with films about Leonardo Da Vinci, Caneletto in Venice, Manet, Vermeer, Matisse and Frida Kahlo.
The Harbor Theater is at 185 Townsend Ave. in Boothbay Harbor. For more information, visit www.boothbaycinema.org