The Glory of Greenwich

Art and Antiques | November 2022

THROUGH January 22 the Greenwich Historical Society will stage a major exhibition for impressionist John Henry Twachtman featuring his home and surroundings in Greenwich, Connecticut. The famed artist lived in the area from 1890 through 1899 and is considered to be when he painted some of his best-known works. The show, titled “Life and Art: The Greenwich Paintings of John Henry Twachtman”, was curated by Lisa N. Peters, Ph.D., an independent scholar and author on several Twachrman and American art publications.

On view will be 18 works on loan from museums and private collections that not only show Twachrman’s artistic style bur also tell aspects of his life including about his home and private environment. In the 1890-1 painting The Old Homestead, Greenwich, Connecticut, a small pastel on paper, one of the earliest views of the artist’s home rakes center stage. The work Pink Flowers (ca. 1895-9) is another example from the homestead, but instead focusing on the beautiful gardens. The painting highlights the artist’s precise use of light and shadow as the sun streams across every petal. Another of his pieces, The Cabbage Patch, could perhaps be titled Variations in Green as the majority of the work, from around 1895 to 1899, is a play on the color through nature.

Pink Flowers by Twachtman, c. 1895–1899. Signed “J.H. Twachtman” at lower left. Oil on canvas,13 by 16 inches.
John Henry Twachtman, The Cabbage Patch, ca. 1895–99 Oil on canvas. Private collection
The old Homestead, Greenwich Connecticut. Pastel on paper

The inclusion of imagery of Twachrman’s home can be seen as moments of self-reflection for the artist, according to Maggie Dimock, Greenwich Historical Society’s Curator of Exhibitions and Collections. Dimock adds, “His images ask us to consider the ways an artist related to their subject, as well as considering how the way shape of our own homes reveals a part of who we are.”

Along with Twachtman’s work “Life and Art” will include pieces from his contemporaries such as Robert Reid and Theodore Robinson.