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American Paintings

The Hudson Valley School, the first generation of American painters, specialized in landscape, and flourished from around 1850 to 1876. Thomas Cole, whose landscapes captured the distinctly rugged American terrain, led the Hudson Valley painters.

Cole did the grand tour in 1829 and was exposed to the monuments of Western art. Hudson Valley painters included Frederic Edwin Church and Albert Bierstadt. The landscapes captured American ideals of transcendentalism, or the divine in nature; and Manifest Destiny, a widely held belief that the young country’s God-given duty was to take full control of the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

In the early 20th century, the Ash Can School artists painted daily life in the city and country. Their painting style is related to the Political Realist style from Paris that started in the 1940s. The artists were fascinated by the modern lifestyle available from the Industrial Revolution.

The Ashcan painters influenced Edward Hopper. He continued the realist style, yet his paintings capture a stillness and melancholy – an emotional distance between the characters, as they deal with modern life. His paintings are reminiscent of French Impressionist paintings, showing, for example, the mark of industrialization on the countryside.


Quick Facts

  • After WWII, America became the tastemaker for the international art world. Before then, Europe regarded America as a backwater for art production. American art from the 1950s onward is usually called Modern or, at the later end, Contemporary Art, rather than American
  • Oil paintings by Edward Hopper sell at contemporary art prices. His "Bridle Path," 1939, sold at Sotheby’s New York for $10.4 million on May 17, 2012
  • Renowned 19th-century painter Winslow Homer painted poignant images of an American life from a previous generation. He sought to deal with the deep national wound left by the American Civil War

Recommended Items at Auction

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JOHN WILLIAMSON, American (1826-1885), "On the Esopus", oil on canvas, 9 3/4 x 16 3/4 inches
Oct 28, 6:00 PM EDT
JOHN WILLIAMSON, American (1826-1885), "On the Esopus", oil on canvas, 9 3/4 x 16 3/4 inches
by Shannon's
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$5,0007 Bids
MARY BRADISH TITCOMB, American (1858-1937), Morning Coffee, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches
Oct 28, 6:00 PM EDT
MARY BRADISH TITCOMB, American (1858-1937), Morning Coffee, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches
by Shannon's
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,7003 Bids
FRANK VINCENT DUMOND, American (1865-1951), Farm in the Valley, oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches
Oct 28, 6:00 PM EDT
FRANK VINCENT DUMOND, American (1865-1951), Farm in the Valley, oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches
by Shannon's
Est: $2,500- $3,500
$1,6003 Bids
DORIS EMRICK LEE, American (1905-1983), The School Yard, oil on canvas, 22 x 26 inches
Oct 28, 6:00 PM EDT
DORIS EMRICK LEE, American (1905-1983), The School Yard, oil on canvas, 22 x 26 inches
by Shannon's
Est: $8,000- $12,000
$4,2502 Bids
JOHN GEORGE BROWN, American (1831-1913), Read All About It, oil on canvas, 24 x 17 inches
Oct 28, 6:00 PM EDT
JOHN GEORGE BROWN, American (1831-1913), Read All About It, oil on canvas, 24 x 17 inches
by Shannon's
Est: $20,000- $30,000
$12,0002 Bids
WILLIAM CHADWICK, American (1879-1962), "Melting Snow", oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches
Oct 28, 6:00 PM EDT
WILLIAM CHADWICK, American (1879-1962), "Melting Snow", oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches
by Shannon's
Est: $4,000- $6,000
$2,2502 Bids
CLYDE SINGER, American (1908-1999), "Hotel Back Door", oil on canvas, 18 x 40 inches
Oct 28, 6:00 PM EDT
CLYDE SINGER, American (1908-1999), "Hotel Back Door", oil on canvas, 18 x 40 inches
by Shannon's
Est: $8,000- $12,000
$4,2502 Bids
BRUCE CRANE, American (1857-1937), Autumn Landscape, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches
Oct 28, 6:00 PM EDT
BRUCE CRANE, American (1857-1937), Autumn Landscape, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches
by Shannon's
Est: $2,500- $3,500
$2,7502 Bids
DAVID THIMGAN, American (1955-2003), "Emily F. Whitney", oil on masonite, 12 x 16 inches
Oct 28, 6:00 PM EDT
DAVID THIMGAN, American (1955-2003), "Emily F. Whitney", oil on masonite, 12 x 16 inches
by Shannon's
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,6002 Bids
ERIC SLOANE, American (1905-1985), Barn on the Bank, oil on masonite, 17 x 23 inches
Oct 28, 6:00 PM EDT
ERIC SLOANE, American (1905-1985), Barn on the Bank, oil on masonite, 17 x 23 inches
by Shannon's
Est: $5,000- $7,000
$2,5001 Bid
EDWARD B. GAY, American (1837-1928), Landscape with River, oil on canvas, 18 x 15 inches
Oct 28, 6:00 PM EDT
EDWARD B. GAY, American (1837-1928), Landscape with River, oil on canvas, 18 x 15 inches
by Shannon's
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$1,5001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell American Paintings


Shannon's

Shannon's

Barridoff Galleries

Barridoff Galleries

Holabird Western Americana

Holabird Western Americana