American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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  Marshlands, 1887, Oil on Board, 24 x 36, Signed
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Curator's Comments: Collectors of the great American landscape masterpieces know there are
two Eatons--Charles Harry and Charles Warren. Ever since we saw Charles Harry Eaton's Lily Pond in
the collection of the Detroit Art Museum, we have wanted to acquire one of his powerful landscapes.
He is a pre-eminent realist with tonalist touches in the tradition of Hugh Bolton Jones, Edward Parker
Hayden and Charles Paul Gruppe. Charles Warren Eaton is known for his luminist landscapes with
hazy, shadowy tonalist elements in the Inness tradition,  and later for a subtle and unique
monochromatic realism. Charles Harry Eaton (1850-1901) was born in Akron, Ohio, and at the age of
eight the Eaton family moved to Cleveland and later to Detroit, Michigan. Eaton was self taught, but
during the years 1867 to 1878, Eaton formed a partnership in Detroit with a portrait painter named
James E. Maxfield, Jr., under the firm name of Maxfield and Eaton. An inheritance in 1869, gave him
some artistic freedom, but his investments in Great Lakes shipping turned sour--hence the
partnership with Maxwell. Eaton left Detroit for Holly, Michigan in 1878, but soon established himself
in Leonia New Jersey, where he built his studio and a home he nicknamed "Cricket." Working from
Leonia, Eaton was active in East Coast art circles.His memberships included the Salmagundi Club, the
Boston Art Club, the Detroit Artists Association, the Western Art Association, and the American Art
Marshlands is Charles Harry Eaton's Masterpiece
Eaton was elected an Associate member of the National Academy of Design in 1893, and was serving
as President at the time of his death. Similarly, he was Secretary of the American Watercolor Society
for 14 years, becoming President in 1901, the year of his death. His work won medals in exhibit after
exhibit, including a silver medal at the Boston Art Club in 1887; gold medals at the American Art
Association in 1888 and the Evans Prize at the American Watercolor Society in 1898. He won a gold
medal at the Philadelphia Art Club in 1900, exhibiting "The Willows". The same work was exhibited
at the Paris Exposition in 1889, and at the World's Fair in Chicago, in 1893. His paintings can be seen
at the Mead Museum, the Detroit Institute, the National Academy of Design, and in other public and
private collections throughout the United States. Critics, ourselves included, admire the extreme
clarity of Eaton's style, applauding his closeness to nature and ability to capture particular moods.  A
reviewer in the Art Interchange (1902) sums up this appreciation: "A true lover of nature was he. All
her moods appealed to his quick sympathy; the lights and shadows falling on the foliage form sunrise
to midday he loved to paint, and the sunset glory found reflection in his soul. The rain-washed
cleanliness after a storm he depicted in one painting so perfectly it seemed as though one could
almost smell the odors of wet leaves and moss, and feel the cool, fresh breeze in his face--the
sunlight breaking through leaded skies formed tiny rainbows in the drops on the foliage. There was a
peculiar atmosphere about his pictures that attracted not only artists, but those who knew nothing of
art standards; their truth to nature drew and held the interest." We think this passage applies to
Marshlands as well. There is the precise rendition that captures even the tinest elements of the
natural world--and the sense that these myriad grasses, leaves, flowers and trees coming together is
what creates natural beauty. And the act of observation lets us participate in this beauty as rendered
by a master like Eaton. His landscapes are perfectly and completely real to point our eyes to nature's
absolute perfection.
Prior Catalogue Page
'Lily Pond' is another Eaton Masterpiece
'In the Spring' sold for $20,000
Next Catalogue Page