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The American Artist in Connecticut - 2002

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Night, Old Windham

1904
20th Century
50 1/2 x 40 in.

Emil Carlsen, Danish, (1853–1932)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: oil on canvas
Credit Line: Florence Griswold Museum, Gift of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company
Accession Number: 2002.1.25
The Danish-born Emil Carlsen trained as an architect before emigrating to the United States in 1872. Over the next two decades, he studied and taught art in Chicago, Paris, San Francisco, and New York, and built a reputation as a still-life painter. In 1896, Carlsen began summering in Connecticut, where he took up the subject of landscape. At first, he stayed at artist J. Alden Weir’s home in Windham Center, even residing with his family in a cottage on Weir’s property. This painting, completed in 1904, probably depicts that spot. The following year, Carlsen bought his own home in the northwest Connecticut town of Falls Village. The limited tonal range and carefully constructed surface of "Night, Old Windham" recall the work of John H. Twachtman, the influential Impressionist and teacher whose paintings Carlsen admired. Carlsen’s intimate response to nature creates a hushed, dreamlike mood that is the hallmark of his landscapes.

This painting won the Webb Prize for the best landscape by an American artist when it was exhibited at the Society of American Artists in 1905.

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