As a member of the New Hope Pennsylvania Impressionists, Walter Emerson Baum painted outdoors in the plein aire tradition of the French Impressionists, going out even in falling snow to capture the scene with immediacy and applying his pigment heavily with palette knife and brush. However, like the American Impressionists he counted himself among, he was a far more conservative painter than the admittedly radical French Impressionists who often painted the seedier side of Parisian life. Instead, Baum focused on American middle class lifestyles and icons like the church of this painting. In that, he echoed the most famous of the American Impressionists, Childe Hassam, who made Protestant churches one of his standard subjects, along with the American flag. This more conservative Impressionist strain was enormously popular in the United States and several regional varieties developed, including schools in New Mexico, California, the Midwest, and Baums own Pennsylvania group. Supporting himself as an art editor and critic for the Philadelphia Evening and Sunday Bulletin, Baum spent his life painting the stunning rural scenery of Bucks and Lehigh Counties. To enrich future generations of painters, he founded the Baum School of Art and the Allentown Art Museum.