American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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Artist Name:  G. Gardner Symons   
Artist Dates:   
1861 - 1930    
Painting Title:
Along Westfield River
Painting Date:
Oil on Artist Board
Signature:       Signed Lower Right
Private Collection
Condition:      Excellent          
Actual Size:     
9 x 12
Frame Style:   Mint Reproduction
Artist Top 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 Symons' 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
(which has been mistakenly identified as a Bucks County work). We call Symons' 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 Symons1 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 6 x 8 inches
in size These pochades 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:   G. Gardner Symons   
Artist Dates:   
1861 - 1930    
Painting Title:
Woodpile In Winter
Painting Date:
Oil on Board
Signed Lower Right
Private Collection
Condition:        Excellent          
Actual Size:      
8 x 10
Frame Style:    Antique Minor Wear
Artist Top Price:   
Offered At:             CALL
We have now acquired a second Symons' pochade  
called The Woodpile in Winter, really a scintillating
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 will go into a human dwelling,  
whose smoke is a healthy sign of life. We look to be
in Colrain in northwestern Massachusetts and the
winter is moderated because 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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