Period of the American Art Colonies

American painters of the late 1800s and early 1900s returned from their studies in Europe to establish professional careers throughout the United States. These highly trained artists established art colonies that mirrored their experiences in Europe, where retreats at such places as Barbizon and Giverny, France, provided spaces for plein-air painting, away from the urban sprawl of cities. These new vacation spots in America, made accessible by rail travel and, later, automobiles, also attracted an art-buying tourist trade. Early notable art colonies included Shinecock Colony, Long Island, established by William Merritt Chase, and the art colony at Old Lyme, Connecticut. Delaware’s two notable art colonies included Arden in the north and Rehoboth Beach in the south. There were many colonies in surrounding states, as well, including those in New Hope and Rose Valley, Pennsylvania, and Easton, Maryland.