Clark Greenwood Voorhees (1871-1933)

  • CLARK GREENWOOD VOORHEES (1871-1933)
  • Autumn, Old Lyme, Flat Rock Hill
  • Oil on canvas
  • 18 x 24 inches
  • Estate stamp verso

Clark Greenwood Voorhees was a founder of the Old Lyme Art Colony and a talented landscapist who melded Tonalism with Impressionism to extraordinary effect. The son of a stockbroker, Voorhees was born on May 29, 1871, in New York City. He was originally drawn to the sciences, earning a B.A. in Chemistry from Yale and an M.A. in the same subject from Columbia. Increasingly unfulfilled by laboratory work, Voorhees, who had always been dedicated to observation and study of the natural world, began devoting more and more of his time to sketching out-of-doors. While still at Columbia, he enrolled in classes at the Art Students League; a few years later, in 1897, he moved to Paris in order to study art at the famed Académie Julian under J.P. Laurens and Benjamin Constant.Voorhees first visited and fell in love with Old Lyme, Connecticut in 1893. He returned several times throughout the 1890s and was one of the very first of the Old Lyme artists to stay at the now-famous Florence Griswold House, which became the center of the Old Lyme colony's artistic life. Soon after the turn of the century, many other artists followed in Voorhees's footsteps, setting up studios in Old Lyme and forming what American Art scholar William Gerdts has called "the most famous Impressionist-oriented art colony in America."

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