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  
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:    
Offered At:              
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 6” x 8” 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.

Another Westfield  View by Symons
NEW To The Collection
Artist Name:  George Gardner Symons   Artist Dates:        1861 - 1930    
Painting Title:   
Woodpile In Winter Painting Date:     Undated  
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:          
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.
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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