Historical Society to Hold Gallery Talk Focused on Childe Hassam’s Painting of Cos Cob Waterfront

A curator’s talk and gallery tour delving into the context of the recently acquired painting The Red Mill, Cos Cob by artist Childe Hassam will take place at the Greenwich Historical Society on February 23.

Painted in 1896 during the first of many visits Hassam made to the Holley family boarding house (now the Bush-Holley House), The Red Mill, Cos Cob is a depiction of the 19th-century Palmer and Duff Shipyard once located on Palmer Point, as interpreted by the famed American Impressionist painter. Following its acquisition by the Greenwich Historical Society in 2020, the painting will be on view in the Historical Society’s Permanent Collections Gallery beginning in February, alongside other artworks and artifacts illustrating the legacy of shipbuilding and the artist colony centered on Cos Cob’s historic Lower Landing. The gallery talk,“Cos Cob’s Lower Landing Through Artists’ Eyes” will illustrate the importance of the painting and the waterfront landscape it captured, once a favorite subject of renowned Impressionists including John Henry Twachtman, Theodore Robinson and Elmer MacRae.

“This striking Hassam painting gives viewers a direct, specific glimpse into the importance of Cos Cob in the development of American Impressionism and its relationship to the now-vanished business district of Cos Cob’s waterfront community the Lower Landing,” says Curator of Exhibitions and Collections Maggie Dimock. “Its installation in our Permanent Collections Gallery is a fitting kick off to the Greenwich Historical Society’s 90th anniversary year, during which we aim to instill a keen sense of place and pride in Greenwich’s rich history.”

The gallery talk and tour on February 23rd at 12:00 pm will be approximately 40 minutes. Admission is $15 for members, $20 for non-members, and includes general entrance to the museum/galleries. Space is limited; pre-registration is recommended: https://greenwichhistory.org/event/curators-gallery-talk-cos-cobs-lower-landing-through-artists-eyes/

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Photos:  With permission, courtesy of Greenwich Historical Society

  • Childe Hassam, The Red Mill, Cos Cob, 1896. Oil on canvas. Greenwich Historical Society, Museum Purchase with Funds from Susan and Jim Larkin, Sally and Larry Lawrence, Mr. and Mrs. Peter L. Malkin, Debbie and Russ Reynolds, Reba and Dave Williams, and Lily Downing and David Yudain.
  • Maggie Dimock points to a selection of artworks from the Historical Society’s Museum collection on view in the Permanent Collections Gallery, the subject of an upcoming Gallery Talk and Tour “Cos Cob’s Lower Landing Through Artist’s Eyes” on February 23.

Childe Hassam: A pioneer in American Impressionism, and one of the most influential and successful artists of the early 20th century, Childe Hassam (1859-1935) spent considerable time in Cos Cob between 1896-1918, producing dozens of paintings, pastels and etchings depicting the Holley House (now the Bush-Holley House Museum) and the nearby waterfront commercial district known as the Lower Landing.

He was attracted to Cos Cob for the camaraderie of the art colony, and for the inspiring subject matter. Local architecture, like the Holley House, and workaday buildings like barns, warehouses, wharfs, and workshops were of particular interest.