Childe Hassam grew up just outside of Boston as the son of a hardware merchant. After apprenticing to a wood engraver, he found work as an illustrator for Boston periodicals. Hassam took art classes at night and traveled to Paris in 1886 to study at the Académie Julian, where he encountered the latest developments in Impressionism, the style he would practice after his return to America in 1889. By the turn of the century, he was one of the leading impressionist painters in the United States.
Are cities alienating or energizing?
In 1907 Hassam began his Window series, which render the atmospheric effects of the New York City skyline from within genteel domestic interiors. In each painting of the series, a young woman is shown in a highly decorated apartment filled with art, sculpture, and fine furnishings. The contrast between the small spaces of Hassam’s elegant interiors and the expansiveness of the city symphony outside convey the various (and sometimes opposing) sensations of modern urban life.
Gift of Archer M. Huntington to the California Palace of the Legion of Honor