"Precious tip of a sailboat" by Irving Ramsey Wiles (1861-1948) with pastels and brushstrokes that show complete sensitivity to the subject, evoking a soft, sensuous feeling of sailing in the wind on the water.
The Wiles sailboats are positioned above a precious landscape by one of the few female painters of the era, Margaret Jordan Patterson (1867-1950). This work has an understated style that succeeds in luring the eye to distant blue hills (made with just a very few simple brushstrokes) through the venue of a row of upright trees. It is a sensitive, immediate and playful work.
The feel of spring and the smell of new grass comes to life as one takes in the John Joseph Enneking (1841-1916) brightly colored meadow scene.
One of the walls contains several magnificent works inspired by the fresh clean harbors in and around Glouster, Massachusetts. A nearly pointillist approach to a shipyard is taken by Lillian Burk Messer (1864-1942) and a fauvist approach to similar subject matter is taken by Harry Aiken Vincent (1864-1931).
Along the back wall, and by far the most astounding works on display, are the collection of winter scenes, clearly done in the open air (plein-air) style, where a somewhat uncomfortable hike in the wood, freezing fingers, and rapidly moving winter sunlight were all battled by the painters as they emerge victoriously with some of the most provocative landscapes ever done. A favorite is the "Bucks County Landscape" by Walter Emerson Baum (1884-1956) and is featured on cards in the museum's store.
Each painting in the show will speak differently to each viewer, but for certain, this show is a rare glimpse into the insights of a masterful collector and a truly outstanding display of the teamwork of a brilliant curator and staff.
The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls is located at 161 Warren St. The paintings from the Clark collection will be on display until March 28.
The author is an artist and former gallery owner who resides in Wilton.