‘Winter’s End: Boston and New England Snowscape’ Exhibition Now on View at Fabled Antiques

Special to Times

As winter winds down in Boston with an unusual absence of snow, Fabled Antiques presents a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the wintry landscapes of New England. “Winter’s End: Boston and New England Snowscapes” invites viewers to explore snow-covered scenes of Boston and New England through a fine art exhibition of paintings, now on view at Fabled Antiques.

While this year may have seen scarce snowfall in Boston, the timeless beauty of winter in New England is captured in this exhibit, from iconic Boston Common and Boston Harbor wintry views to bluebird-day New England landscapes and coastal scenes. The exhibition features works by noted nineteenth- and early twentieth-century century artists Frank Weston Benson (1862-1951), Arthur Clifton Goodwin (1864-1929), Aldro T. Hibbard (1886-1972), Bruce Crane (1857-1937), Carl William Peters (1897-1980) and more. The exhibit also includes contemporary New England artists William R. Davis and David Dodge.

Many of the artists featured typically worked en plein air — outdoors and on site. Winter painting en plein air presents unique challenges to 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 help brave 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 threading his paintbrush through the wool.

Getting to painting locations in the winter was also a challenge for these en plein air artists. Weather conditions make remote locations difficult to access, and often artists would hike into nature to get to their favorite spots. In the nineteenth century and early 1900s, this was accomplished with horses, sleds, snowshoes, or on foot, all while hauling painting supplies as well as provisions. Artists would even catch rides with loggers going deep into the forest. Understanding these hardships lends a greater appreciation for the winter paintings in this exhibition.

‘Winter’s End: Boston and New England Snowscapes’ is on view at Fabled Antiques, now through March 3. Fabled Antiques features five rooms of fine art, antiques and vintage finds. The shop is located at 93 Charles St., and welcomes visitors Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. For more information, contact 617-936-3008 or follow @fabledantiques on Facebook and Instagram.

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