DANIEL PUTNAM BRINLEY
1879 – 1963
Title: "Gloucester Harbor”
Size: Height 31 1/2 inches Width 29 1/2 inches (framed)
This important American artist was born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1879. Brinley commenced his formal studies at the Art Students League of New York from 1900–1902, under John Henry Twachtman, Bryson Borroughs, Kenyon Cox, and H. Siddons Mowbray. Shortly after in 1904, the artist traveled to Paris and Florence to further his education in the arts. While in Europe, Brinley became associated with artists John Marin and Max Weber, with whom he helped to found the New Society of American Painters in Paris. During his time abroad, the artist regularly exhibited in the annual Paris Salons. Upon returning to the United States, Brinley enthusiastically embraced the New York art world, exhibiting at Alfred Stieglitz’s Little Galleries in 1910. Notably, the artist also served on the Domestic Committee, the Publicity Committee, and the Reception Committee for the highly influential 1913 Armory Show of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, in which he also exhibited, accompanied by the world’s leading artists and including the work of such avant-garde figures as Picasso, Duchamp, Kandinsky and Picabia. The exhibition ultimately served as the first large scale introduction of European modernism to America. Deeply influenced by the art he viewed in Europe and at the Armory Show, Brinley developed a unique style—a vibrant mélange of Impressionism, Realism, and Modernism.
Hailed as “the first real colorist America had produced since Hassam,” Brinley’s stylistic evolution remained consistently loyal to his use of color. A contemporary critic from the distinguished the artist’s style as a colorist with remarkable gifts of talents, if not genius. “He has caught the sunlight at white heat and painted the world in its gayest raiment.” This trademark use of light and color which Brinley first adopted from the French Impressionists, and later merged with Modernist techniques gleaned from the Armory show, defines his distinctive style, the basis for his efficacious career. Unlike artists such as Monet, to whom he was occasionally compared, Brinley never allowed his interest in luminous color to dissolve the formal structure of his subject. His style exhibits a brilliancy and vitality. Like many American artists in the early twentieth century, Brinley punctuated his works with painterly dabs of brilliant color and bathed his subjects in sunlight to suggest the glorious beauty of nature.
A crucial member of multiple art associations, Brinley thrived as a founder of both Grand Central Art Galleries and the Silvermine Guild of Artists, serving as Vice-President and President for the latter. Additionally, Brinley was a member of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, an elected Associate of the National Academy of Design, and an elected life member of the National Arts Club, in addition to many other important titles and accolades. Later in his career, Brinley undertook several public art projects in New York which include murals in the Brooklyn Savings Bank, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. Building, and the Daily News Building.
During his lifetime, the artist exhibited at such prominent institutions as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Carnegie Institute, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Society of Independent Artists, the National Academy of Design, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Brinley’s works are included in the permanent collections of Bush Holley House, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, the National Academy of Design, the Florence Griswold Museum, and the Woodstock Art Association Museum, New York. Among his awards was a Gold Medal in 1932.
This spectacular example of Brinley’s work exemplifies the best of his training -- Twachtman’s influence is clearly seen both in his interpretation of brilliant colour and changing atmosphere. This painting is presented in excellent condition and is signed and dated by the artist. The painting was exhibited in 1911 as referenced in “Daniel Putnam Brinley: The Impressionist Years”, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art 1978.