Fabled Antiques announces Snowbound: Winter Landscapes from the 19th c. to Present, an exhibit of paintings depicting the rugged snow-covered beauty of Boston and New England in the heart of winter.
The exhibition features works by noted nineteenth- and twentieth-century artists Arthur Clifton Goodwin (1864-1929), Aldro T. Hibbard (1886-1972), Henry Martin Gasser (1909-1981), James King Bonnar (1885-1961) and more. The exhibit also includes contemporary New England artists Erik Koeppel, William R. Davis and Dave Dodge.
From iconic Boston Common and Boston Harbor snowy views to bluebird-day New England landscapes and coastal scenes, the experience of winter is captured in these works.
Many of the artists featured typically worked en plein air — outdoors and on site. Winter painting en plein air presents wonderful opportunities and unique challenges to artists. From brisk sunny days to blinding blizzards, the invigorating snow-covered scenery holds tremendous appeal for artists to portray nature’s beauty. For en plein air artists, there are not only cold temperatures to contend with — which can mean frozen stiff fingers leading to limited dexterity — but also there are issues of paint and other art supplies freezing, paint not drying, and frozen brushes. Oil paints become less malleable, and falling snow doesn’t mix with oil paint. Contemporary artists can avail themselves to today’s high-tech cold weather gear to somewhat help brave the bitter temperatures. Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century artists would layer up in wool, fur and make-shift contraptions, such as “The Hibbard Mitten,” a term coined from Aldro T. Hibbard’s innovation of wearing layered socks on his hands and poking his paintbrush through the wool.
Getting to the painting locations in the winter is also a challenge for en plein air artists. Weather conditions make driving to remote locations difficult, and often artists hike into nature to get to their favorite spots. In the nineteenth century and early 1900s, this would’ve been accomplished with horses, sleds, snowshoes, or on foot, all while hauling their painting supplies as well as provisions with them. Artists would even catch rides with loggers going deep into the forest.
Understanding these hardships lends a greater appreciation for the fine examples of works on exhibit in Snowbound: Winter Landscapes from the 19th c. to Present, on view now through March 15, 2022.
Fabled Antiques features five rooms of fine art, antiques, quality smalls and vintage finds. The shop is located at 93 Charles St., Boston, and is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. For more information, please call (617) 936-3008 or visit online at @fabledantiques on Facebook and Instagram.