American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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Artist Name:  George Gardner
Symons
  Artist Dates:          1861 -
1930
   
Painting Title:
Along the Westfield
River
Painting Date:        Undated  
Medium:               
Oil on
Canvas/Board
Signature:               
Signed Lower Right Provenance:           
Private Collection Condition:              
Excellent          
Size Unframed:       
9 x 12
Frame Condition:    Mint Reproduction
Artist Best Price:     $130,000
Offered At:               CALL  
Prior Catalogue Page
Another Westfield  View by Symons
Curator's Comments: George Gardner Symons, one of America’s most noted plein-aire
painters whose works blended realism with a broad, vigorous, impressionistic stroke, was born on
October 27, 1861 in Chicago, Illinois. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago where he met his life-
long friend, the painter William Wendt. Then Symons traveled overseas to study further in London,
Paris, and Munich. He joined a colony of artists at St. Ives, Cornwall and adopted the plein-air
techniques of Julius Olsson, Adrian Stokes, and Rudolph Hellwag. After returning to the United
States, Symons worked in Chicago as a commercial artist., but he soon settled in Brooklyn, New
York in 1909. At that time, due to his concerns about anti-Semitism, he changed his name from
Simon to Symons.  Earlier, in 1884, he had made his first trip to Southern California, and in 1896,
accompanied by Wendt, he returned and built a studio south of Laguna Beach, where they were able
to paint en plein air year-round.  He was to return to this studio often during his career while
maintaining studios in the East, splitting his time between New York and his country home in
Colrain, Massachusetts, to the west of the Pioneer Valley. Symons was active in western art societies
including the California Art Club, but his primary studio remained in Brooklyn, New York. Symons
has two works in the Smithsonian, and is represented in museums nationwide, including the Chicago
Art Institute, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the
National Academy of Design. His awards range from Salmagundi to the Phillips Collection to the
National Arts Club. He exhibited widely, showing at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the
Laguna Museum and even the Royal Academy. In 1909, Symons won the Carnegie Prize at the
National Academy. The Evans Prize came to him in 1910 and in 1911 he was elected to full
membership. He passed away on January 13, 1930 in Hillside, New Jersey.
We offer a work Symons called Along the Westfield River, which flows east from the Berkshires and
empties into the Connecticut River. This is Tobacco Valley in Connecticut and Western
Massachusetts—and Symon’s blue barn and its leaf drying racks are pasted with brilliant snow.
The subject was one he was drawn to on a number of occasions, as in the comparative painting we
show alongside (which has been mistakenly identified as a Bucks County work—which it is not). We
call Symon’s Westfield painting (an oil on canvas laid down on wooden board) a perfect gem if
only for the incredible gradations of its cobalt blues. It is a scene about the blue barn and the frozen
river. The art insists that there is no death in Symon’s natural universe, only processes slowed
into sleep and ready to wake when time summons. Painted in the last year of Symons’ life, this is
a statement of human peace rendered with an incredible palette. Only a master could have made it.
Symons works are noted for their energy and simplicity.
Although his desert and Grand Canyon paintings are
highly acclaimed, he is best remembered for his snowy
winter landscapes of New England, especially of the
Berkshire Mountains. Best valued of all are his small
sketches on board, often 6â€� x 8â€� in size. These  â
€œpochadesâ€� capture his vigor and his truly unique
vision. Symons' style is solidly Impressionist accentuated
by realistic effect of shimmering light. His snowscenes are
covered with areas of brilliant white flanked by deep and
lively permutations in single contrasting shades rendered
in firm brushstrokes.
Artist Name:  George Gardner
Symons
  Artist Dates:        1861 -
1930
   
Painting Title:    
Woodpile In Winter
Painting Date:     
Undated  
Medium:              
Oil on Board
Signature:             
Signed Lower Right
Provenance:         
Private Collection
Condition:            Excellent          
Size Unframed:     
8 x 10
Frame Condition:  Antique Minor
Wear
Artist Best Price:   $108,000
Offered At:             CALL
We have now acquired a second Symon's pochade
sketch, The Woodpile in Winter," really a
scin-tillating winter scene and again fascinating for
its mastery. The snow has taken on a rich host of
shades emanating from the wet bark of the cut
firewood. In turn those logs are going into the
human dwelling, whose smoke is a healthy sign of
life. We look to be in Colrain in northwestern
Massachusetts and the winter is moderated be-cause
nature provides a system whereby Symons' grey
birch trees are cut, stored, stain the snow with bark
and sawdust  and eventually become the smoke that
symbolizes welcome human warmth. There is much
joy here, echoing in the pathway and pile that
Symons has turned into a colorful  palette and a gem
to own.
NEW To The Collection
Symons was  fascinated by the tiny country
logger's mill and painted it from both
perspectives. Here the woodpile is beyond and to
the left.
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