American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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Artist Name:         Franklin B. DeHaven
Artist Dates:        
Painting Title:      
Painting Date:       Undated
Oil on  Canvas
Signed Lower Right
Private Collector
Size Unframed:   
30 x 24
Size Framed:        
38 x 32
Frame Condition: 
Handcarved Antique
Artist Best Price:  
Offered At:          
Curator's Comments: DeHaven was born in Bluffton, Indiana, in 1856. Thirty years later the Hoosier turned up in New York, where he became a pupil of George Henry Smillie. At the time Smillie had married and was sharing a Bronxville, New York studio with his wife and brother. Smillie was active at the National Academy of Design, where he became Secretary in 1892, and he helped introduce DeHaven to a number of pre-turn-of-the-century New York artists. DeHaven was admitted to membership in the NAD, where he went on to  exhibit for nearly fifty years, and he was the recipient of the Silver Medal at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904. DeHaven also associated with the Salmagundi painters and joined the loosely allied painters who summered in Old Lyme and Mystic, Connecticut.
Smillie taught DeHaven classical landscape painting in the Hudson River school model, but with much added important Barbizon influence. And through Smillie, DeHaven also came to know Tonalism and its Luminist high point. But we think De Haven clearly advanced beyond Tonalism in his best works, emphasizing a poetic, romanticized natural scene with a gold, silver and turquoise palette. As Whittier Montgomery wrote about these significant paintings, "one feels in all, not merely the man’s ability as a draughtsman and technician, but the scope of his sympathies and the genuine character of his interpretation." The emphasis here falls on character, meaning DeHaven’s ability in his best work to render natural processes, as he does here with the passage from sky to stream that resonates with the water cycle. DeHaven, known as “Pop” to his friends, was also very active in the Allied Artists of America. We believe he came under the influence of his fellow painter Ernest Albert (1857-1946), who was also deeply involved in the AAA group. Albert made his money as a scenic designer and also heavily emphasized a romantic viewpoint using more suffused pastel coloration.

Elements of Albert’s style are clearly present  in the work we offer, but we also agree on much of what Butts says about DeHaven’s earlier work, where he sees “framed between the dark browns and grays of the foreground and the lavender-mauves of the lowering sky, the silver-white water layered with golden ochre reeds and crossed by the calligraphic silhouettes of trunks and branches in a tightly composed evocation of the Japanese screens that had been such a pervasive influence on American painting and decorating for decades.” In our work, the gold jumps up to the leaves of the very “calligraphic” birches themselves, as the water moves toward us in a flowing, but slowly in a graceful dance.
Birch Creek, ca. 1910
Another Representative View
We show Birch Creek and another similarly romanticized work from this period for comparison, and each proves  how right Butts is when he continues: “The brushwork is impressionistic, as are the individual touches of orange, olive, lavender, and ochre which enliven the fallen leaves in the foreground …scumbling and impasto further enrich the painted surface. The patterned repetition of verticals and horizontals, the closely controlled tonality, and the pale, light which casts no shadow all contribute to the calm atmosphere.” However, where Butts saw “wistful melancholy,” we think that these romanticized landscapes make De Haven’s value because of their emphasis on nature as the shared artist, composing its own masterpiece.
Our work has been repaired, with minimal inpainting, and black light shows that the signature is in the painting. Framed in a hand-carved wooden frame tinted with a putty wash. We took the frame to our framer for a new guilt liner, and our framer was very happy to identify a piece that he insisted was carved by his own father in the late 1920s and estimated  a value of $1,000 on the frame alone.
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