Today's Hours
Museum: Closed
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Today's Hours
Museum: Closed
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Crane, Robert Bruce
(1857-1937)
Collection: American Collection
Specialty: Paintings
View Artwork
Born in New York City in 1857, Robert Bruce Crane embraced two artistic
movements of the late nineteenth century - the Barbizon school and
tonalism. By the 1870s, the Barbizon movement had found its way to America
where it quickly supplanted the more representational works of the Hudson
River School painters. The leading American exponent of the Barbizon
School, George Inness, began his artistic career as part of the later
Hudson River School, but moved by his preference for what he termed
"civilized landscapes" - those that showed signs of human occupation - and
his determination to express his religious conversion to the tenets of
Emanuel Swedenborg through his art, he soon turned to a more
individualized and expressive mode of painting that in many ways
prefigured the abstract expressionism of the 20th century. Young followers
like Robert Bruce Crane, while less attracted to the Swedenborgian
movement, nevertheless embraced Inness's dictum that "the highest beauty
and truest value of landscape painting are in the sentiment and feeling
which flows from the mind and heart of the artist."

Crane studied in Paris in the late 1870s and, on his return to America,
began painting landscapes en plain air. He won the Webb Prize given by the
Society of American Artists for a Barbizon-style landscape in the 1890s.
After 1904, he spent most summers painting at the Old Lyme colony in
Connecticut, though it was largely associated with Impressionism. During
that period, Crane began to make the turn to tonalism, using beige, russet
and brown tones to achieve an autumnal effect in his paintings. In 1915,
he joined several other notable landscape painters to establish Twelve
Landscape Painters, an organization created for exhibition purposes. He
died in Bronxville, New York in 1937.

Everl Adair, Director of Research and Rare Collections