This studio-focused institute examines the history and impact of impressionism on the American imagination. Plein air painting, aided by optical theory, access to the outdoors, and the rising middle class patronage of the industrial age, allowed Americans to re-envision their relationship to the landscape and connect with Europe as a global player. Impressionism engendered a new appreciation for nature that validated distinctly American ideals squared with the modern world and helped forge a national identity.
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