Eternal Summer

GBP £40.00



ISBN: 978-1-907804-06-9

240 Pages

279 x 229 mm (9 x 11 in)

120 colour and 30 b&w illustrations

In association with the Cincinnati Art Museum

September 2015


Offering fresh insight into the paintings of Edward Henry Potthast (1857–1927), Eternal Summer features over one hundred works, covering the full range of the artist’s oeuvre.

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From preparatory studies to finished works of art, this lavishly illustrated volume offers a unique opportunity to consider Edward Potthast—Cincinnati native and American Impressionist. Potthast travelled from his native Cincinnati to Europe in the 1880s, studying in Antwerp, Munich, and Paris. New research, supported by archival photographs and documents, puts his paintings in the context of the arts and culture of his time: the popularity of peasant themes during the Industrial Revolution, the Dutch craze, and the rise of middle class leisure time and tourism. Although children are often the focus of Potthast’s beach life, he also captures the raucousness of a working- and middle-class crowd, as well as the newly liberated woman.

For this wide-ranging volume, works are drawn from the collections of the Cincinnati Art Museum, as well as private collections and other public institutions. Potthast’s famous beach scenes are considered within the wider scope of his art, from his early portrayals of European agricultural labourers to his stunning landscapes and less well-known portraits and nudes. Essays focus on Potthast’s associations with Cincinnati, his skilful use of watercolour in spare atmospheric sketches and highly finished works, and the development of his breathtakingly vivid paintings of bathers at the seaside. A technical study of Potthast’s paintings provides an invaluable resource for museums, collectors, and dealers, and a detailed illustrated chronology traces his full career.

Author biographies

Julie Aronson is curator of American Painting, Sculpture, and Drawings at the Cincinnati Art Museum, and author of Bessie Potter Vonnoh: Sculptor of Women (2008) and Perfect Likeness: European and American Portrait Miniatures from the Cincinnati Art Museum (2006).

Per Knutås, formerly of the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art, is head of conservation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Carol Troyen is the Kristin and Roger Servison Curator Emerita of American Painting at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and author of Edward Hopper (2007).

Cynthia Amnéus is curator of Fashion Arts and Textiles at the Cincinnati Art Museum. In 2004 she won the Victorian Society of America’s Ruth Emery Publication Award for A Separate Sphere: Dressmakers in Cincinnati’s Golden Age, 1877–1922 (2003).

Anne Buening is curatorial assistant at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Table of Contents

  1. Director’s Preface
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Abbreviations in the Notes and Catalogue
  4. Edward Henry Potthast: Cincinnati’s First Impressionist — Julie Aronson
  5. Sketching on the Beach: Potthast and Watercolor — Carol Troyen
  6. “Going to the Seashore Studying Figures in the Surf”: Potthast and the Beach — Julie Aronson
  7. The Painting Techniques of Edward Henry Potthast — Per Knutås
  8. Chronology — Anne Buening
  9. Catalogue: Notes to the Reader
    Graphic Work — Julie Aronson
    Work — Julie Aronson
    Leisure — Julie Aronson
    The Beach — Cynthia Amnéus
    Landscape — Julie Aronson
    Portraits and the Nude — Julie Aronson
  10. Selected Bibliography
  11. Photographic Credits
  12. Index