4th Dec, 2022 2:00 EST

American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists Featuring the Collection of Charles and Virginia Bowden

 
Lot 80
 

80

Daniel Garber (American, 1880–1958)
Early May

Signed 'Daniel Garber' bottom right; also titled, signed and dated '36' verso, oil on board
16 x 18 in. (40.6 x 45.7cm)
Housed in a Frederick Harer frame.

Provenance

The Artist.
A gift from the above.
Collection of R.B. von Maur, Davenport, Iowa.
By descent in the family.
Private Collection, Iowa.

Sold for $81,900
Estimated at $80,000 - $120,000


 

Signed 'Daniel Garber' bottom right; also titled, signed and dated '36' verso, oil on board
16 x 18 in. (40.6 x 45.7cm)
Housed in a Frederick Harer frame.

Provenance

The Artist.
A gift from the above.
Collection of R.B. von Maur, Davenport, Iowa.
By descent in the family.
Private Collection, Iowa.

Literature

Artist's Record Book I, p. 52, lines 31-33.
Lance Humphries, Daniel Garber: Catalogue Raisonné, Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, 2006. Vol. II, p. 243, P 676 (illustrated).

Note

Pennsylvania Impressionists such as Daniel Garber were celebrated for their freedom from European influence, and praised by the noted painter and critic Guy Pène du Bois as "our first truly national expression." Painting steadily outside of Philadelphia and avoiding New York City as he had for several decades, Garber's career in the 1930s followed the rise of Regionalist artists, also known as American Scene painters, who considered that the real America was anywhere but in the city, away from the turmoil of urbanization. Consequently, Garber became the symbol of a new movement, which stressed man, nature and simple things as the true heart and soul of American expression. This can be easily understood when looking at a landscape such as Early May, a fresh and close-up vision of a solid stone barn nestled in the woods, and visited only by a herd of sheep shown grazing peacefully in the foreground. Contrary to his 1940s landscapes, open views of off-centered houses shown completely isolated in the middle of an expansive landscape of overlapping and distanced hills, the present work offers a more familiar, heartwarming vision of rural America. The composition is tighter, focused on the building, the sheep and the surrounding nature in full bloom and effervescence. The picture seems to present an idealized vision of civilization, rather than a negation of it: although no human form is in sight, the barn appears well-kept, so as the lawn in the foreground. The presence of the sheep suggests a farming activity, but can also imply a religious meaning, the evidence of a newfound, idyllic Eden, which Garber may have found reassuring at the time. Early May indeed speaks to Garber's ongoing fascination for a simple, secluded way of life that does not involve industrialization, and by the same token to his conscious rejection of big city life - which he visited only when his career made it necessary.

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Daniel Garber

Daniel Garber