A Glens Falls art museum has landed its second major work by American realist George Bellows. The Hyde Collection acquired Bellows’ Freeman Young’s Place (Matinicus Island, Maine) at the bequest of former trustee and longtime art enthusiast Evelyn “Evie” Muller, who passed away in March. The colorful landscape hasn’t been seen in public since 1923. (Saratoga Living is a paid partner of The Hyde Collection.)
The painting is one in a series that Bellows’ works completed during a 1916 trip to Maine, during which he shadowed and painted an island fisherman, Freeman Young, at his home on Matinicus Island. Bellows had begun going to Maine in 1911, as a student of Robert Henri, and it became a popular subject for him in his lifetime. As a student of Henri’s at the New York School of Art, Bellows made his name with his boisterous depictions of modern life. Bellows’ style was more diverse than critics of his day acknowledged; he produced in his career both cerebral and theoretical explorations of color and composition, like Freeman Young’s Place, as well as dour portraits such as Old Lady with Bonnet, the first Bellows painting in The Hyde’s permanent collection. In 1913, he helped organize the Armory Show, which brought an array of European artists to America, the first time many US artists experienced European art first hand.
Once hanging in Muller’s New York dining room, Freeman Young’s Place, though a depiction of the Atlantic, surely “reminded Evie of her waterside home and summertime haven on Lake George as the place that brought her into contact with The Hyde,” says former Hyde deputy director and chief curator Erin Coe. “It’s fitting,” adds Director of Curatorial Affairs Jonathan Canning, “that whenever this painting is exhibited or reproduced, the accompanying credit line will always articulate the deep and indivisible bond between Evie and The Hyde.”
The Hyde will display its two Bellows in the East Guest Bedroom.