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Aldro Thompson Hibbard
Vermont Farm in Winter, Aldro Hibbard, New England Impressionist Snow Landscape

$8,000Asking Price

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Aldro Thompson Hibbard (1886 - 1972) Vermont Farm in Winter Oil on canvas 24 x 30 inches Signed lower left Provenance: Private Collection, Newburyport, Massachusetts Shannon's, Fine Art Auction, September 17, 2020, Lot 198 A product of two Capes, born on Cape Cod and matured as an artist on Cape Ann, Aldro Hibbard became the spiritual center of this artists’ community. Hibbard was the consummate outdoorsman, capturing the deep frigid snows of Vermont or maintaining a .300-plus batting average in the North Shore baseball leagues. Like George Bellows, Hibbard had to choose between professional baseball and art. He attended the school at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he was instructed by Frank Weston Benson, Phillip Leslie Hale and Edmund Charles Tarbell, who were instructors in the new school of American Impressionism at that time. Hibbard rejected the confines of his studio, despite the observation by his teacher Joseph DeCamp, the great impressionist Boston School portrait painter, that the young student made figure painting “look too easy.” In later years, writers referred to Hibbard as “the dean of the Frozen River School” and the artist soon to replace Gardner Symons and Edward Redfield as the leading interpreter of winter. He traveled to Europe in 1914 and was friendly with the great Joachim Sorolla in Spain, where they agreed that outdoor painting was where real painting occurred (the studio was “good for smoking in”). Hibbard had long been interested in snow-covered landscapes, submitting one of his earliest, February Thaw, to the National Academy. He acknowledged a debt to the winter landscapes of Willard Metcalf, specifically the technique of creating a veil of delicately-toned colors, one placed next to another, to describe light and shadow on snow. In his early canvases, Hibbard practiced a similar technique that produced a delicate pointillist feeling, which he called “broken color.” Equally important was Metcalf’s practice of painting outside in the middle of winter; Hibbard’s snow scenes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains painted during his honeymoon in 1925, as well as his Vermont scenes, attest to his love for painting in harsh conditions. Hibbard often trekked many hours before finding his ideal subject matter under the right conditions. By the 1930s, Hibbard spent winter months in Vermont, and the rest of the year in Rockport, where he established the Rockport Summer School of Drawing and Painting and grew to become a legendary member of the North Shore artist colony and even the Rockport baseball team. Each spring, Hibbard was responsible for choosing the exact shade of red that the town would paint the fishing shack commonly referred to as Motif #1. A leader in this community, he was also active in nearby Boston, and in 1965 the Guild of Boston Artists, where Hibbard had exhibited for 45 years, mounted a retrospective exhibition of his work. About the exhibition, R. H. Ives Gammell (a leading teacher of the Boston School of painters) commented: “Paintings by Aldro T. Hibbard recall the artistic standards for which the Boston painters were nationally known throughout the first quarter of our century. The exhibition...includes many of the artist’s finest landscapes which are of a quality no painter now living, here or abroad, could remotely approach.” Hibbard influenced Rockport artists including Emile Gruppe, Tom Nicholas, Paul Strisik, Marguerite Stuber Pearson, and Roger Curtis. Along with Anthony Thieme, Hibbard is generally regarded as the most expensive Rockport painter at auction.

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