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Pennsylvania Impressionism at SAM

The Susquehanna Art Museum is currently displaying a temporary exhibit that captures and highlights art completed in the impressionistic style in Pennsylvania. The museum’s exhibit shows an array of works done in this style– for example, there are sections for early impressionism, still lifes, works done by female artists, and works that were influenced by the urban scene in Philadelphia. There is a large variety of work on display; most of the works are landscapes.

Impressionism was an art movement that began in France in the late 1800’s. Artists such as Monet, Manet, and Renoir worked to define what and pioneer this new and exciting style of painting. The essence of the Impressionism movement was to break the mold of what was considered traditional, academic painting at the time. Artists that work in the Impressionism style pay close attention to movement, light, and brush strokes in their pieces, as these aspects are staples of the style. A majority of the paintings that were painted in the original impressionistic style were created “en plein air”, a French term referring to artists working on their paintings outside. Though the Impressionism movement began in France, it made its way across the Atlantic to America and inspired many American painters, however the Americans had their own spin on the style. The early Pennsylvania impressionists began to congregate at Mt. Hope, an area around the Philadelphia area, and were greatly influenced by the topography there.

This exhibit displays not only the versatility in styles and techniques used in the pieces but also the beauty in Pennsylvania’s geography. The exhibit will be on display at the Susquehanna Art Museum (1401 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg) until May 22- you should definitely check this one out!

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