Fresh Views of Classic Scenes

By Paige Roehrig on May 2, 2019

This year the Copley Society of Art is celebrating 140 years of illustrious and vibrant history. To commemorate the historic accomplishments of Co|So, many artist members will be taking inspiration from prominent artworks of Boston when they participate in this year’s Fresh Paint. Here’s a look at a few fresh views of classic scenes you’ll find at this year’s Fresh Paint Auction and Gala on May 16th.

Chris Firger, Mount Vernon Street, acrylic, 12” x 16”

Chris Firger’s Fresh Paint piece is inspired by Arthur Clifton Goodwin’s oil painting, Mount Vernon Street (pictured below). The late Bostonian artist is continually celebrated for his landscapes and cityscapes full of spontaneous impressionist brushstrokes. In his contemporary view, Chris Firger adds his own stylized brushstrokes and the modern-day, car-filled streets, while keeping the view of the street and tower identical.

Arthur Clifton Goodwin, Mount Vernon Street, oil on canvas, 30” x 36”, Private collection

Nick Read, Fresh View of: Frank Benson, The Open Window, 14” x11”

In this interior, Nick Read emulates the essence of Frank Benson’s painting, The Open Window, through his rendering of softly-suffused light emanating from the open windows. The sunlight reflects upon the slate flooring inside a familiar location to many local museum goers: the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Read puts an even more contemporary twist on this painting by removing the crochet hooks and yarn from the woman’s hands and replacing it with a cell phone. See the classic scene that inspired this contemporary view below.

Frank W. Benson, The Open Window, 1917, oil on canvas, 52” x 42”, National Gallery of Art

Caroline Rufo, After Hassam: Charles River and Beacon Hill, oil on canvas, 22” x 22”

Caroline Rufo’s painting perfectly imitates this year’s Fresh Paint theme, Fresh Views of Classic Scenes. Rufo’s fresh view is inspired by Boston native and renowned American Impressionist, Childe Hassam. In the contemporary version, the impressionist strokes of the classic scene (pictured below) are absent. Instead, the artist has incorporated bold graphic colors and simplified forms that characterize many of her New England paintings. The visual composition generally remains the same with a few modern updates. The fence where Hassam’s model once rested has been replaced with trees and the dirt road that once ran along the Charles has been swapped with pavement.

Childe Hassam, Charles River and Beacon Hill, ca. 1892 oil on canvas, 16 1/8” x 18”, oil on canvas, MFA, Boston

See Co|So’s artist members painting en plein air around Boston for Paint Weekend this Saturday and Sunday! View their completed works at the Fresh Paint Auction and Gala on May 16th! For more information and tickets regarding this event click here: