Sunday, May 16, 2010

Theodore Robinson, Local Connections

Self Portrait, Theodore Robinson 1884-1887

Last week I attended a luncheon of the Janesville Art League and had expected only a nice salad, some chit chat with friends and a vote on next year's leadership.  I was also interested a presentation by Richard Krake, retired art educator and painter from nearby Evansville, about native son Theodore Robinson. I was well aware of another painter from Evansville, John Wilde, but I had never heard of Robinson, who lived much of his early life in Evansville and is buried there.

That led me to do a little searching for more about Robinson's life.  In brief, he was born in Vermont, but then his family moved to Evansville, a small town not far from here.  He had asthma, so his mother kept him inside much of the time, encouraging him to draw and learn piano.  He studied art in Chicago and New York, and also traveled to France and Italy.  In the 1880s he became friends with Claude Monet and other European Impressionists, and his style became looser and more impressionistic. He eventually returned to the United States, taught, and was part of the Cos Cob Art Colony.  He died of an asthma attack, and was buried in Evansville. Today his work is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.  Apparently there are some paintings in private collections in Evansville as well.

The Wedding March - shows Monet's daughter's wedding

I plan to read a book the speaker mentioned about Robinson's work entitled In Monet's Light: Theodore Robinson at Giverny. 

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