American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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Autumn on the River, Oil on Board, 14 x 18, Signed, Museum Collection
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Dockside brought $22,000 at Christies
Curator's Comments: We are pleased once again to be offering a dramatic
and truly colorful work by Walter Farndon, 1876-1964, a painter of gem-like landscapes
who is well known to diligent collectors. Born in Coventry, England, Farndon came to the
U.S., settling in Yonkers, NY, and began his career in the early 1890s, painting floral
motifs in watercolor for a carpet factory. Determined to become a professional artist
despite his family's financial struggles, he left the carpet factory after a few years to enroll
at the National Academy of Design, where he first studied with Edgar M. Ward. He was
later elected an Associate in 1928, and an Academician in 1937. He also studied with
Robert Henri, and was a member of the Society of Independent Artists. He was a member
of the American Watercolor Society, the National Arts Club,  and the Salmagundi Club,
among others. Farndon won numerous prizes throughout New York and New England, and
at the Pennsylvania Academy, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery and the
Boston Art Club. Vose Galleries mounted five solo exhibitions of Farndon's oil and
watercolor paintings. Farndon  painted en plein air and is best-known for impasto,
Impressionist, sometimes near-Expressionist riverside, harbor and shore scenes. His focus
was mostly New England, and he traveled to Monhegan, Boothbay Harbor, Gloucester,
and Nova Scotia. He died in 1964 in Valley Stream, on NY's Long Island.
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Earlier Similar Motif ca. 1920
Farndon put his artistic credo (as seen in notebooks we read at the Smithsonian) simply:
"The principal payment for an artist is the personal satisfaction of creating beauty (as
personally seen and felt), and giving to viewers some of the pleasure you have experienced
in the producing." Farndon's works typically manage to retain the essential pleasure of
creation--which is why we are very pleased to offer "Autumn on the River." The brilliant
pallette knife flowering trees are sending a climactic signal that natural time is entering the
peace and rest of winter--while they burst over the river. Everything else is waiting for the
coming quiet--the empty boat and the empty cottage await the first snow. But the radiant
trees also tell us that spring will return because "ripeness is all"--their beauty is ultimately
as timeless as the natural cycle. "Autumn on the River" shows how much Farndon
understood that art is there to manifest nature's simple magnificence. Our work bears a
Vose Gallery label on the verso, and was deaccessioned from the Muscarelle Museum of
the College of William and Mary