In January of 1907, Kraushaar Galleries in New York held the only solo exhibition of Allen Butler Talcott’s work during the artist’s brief lifetime. It was a small affair of less than twenty paintings, comprised mostly of studio pictures worked up from plein air sketches captured the previous season while Talcott was in Old Lyme. Talcott depended heavily on his panels. Five years earlier, after his first summer at the Griswold mansion, he wrote to Miss Florence that he “could work for years on the hundred and thirty sketches” he had made and “not exhaust the material.” Talcott painted what he saw, with immediacy and passion, then painted it again, larger and refined.
When reviewing the Kraushaar Galleries show for The New York Times, the critic was aware of Talcott’s burgeoning reputation. He mentions artistic medals won by the artist, likely referring in part to Talcott’s silver medal at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition, awarded for a group of four paintings – The Pasture Oaks, Oaks in Bloom, The Connecticut at Deep River, and A Wood Road. Many American Tonalists and early Impressionists enjoyed years, if not decades, of advanced achievement built upon their formative experiences and education overseas. For Talcott, this prime period lasted just over three, from 1904, through the Kraushaar show, up to his premature death on June 1, 1908.
The panels and canvases that comprise this exhibition reach back to his earliest days, span both his French and Hartford periods, and include views of New York and masterpieces done in Old Lyme. Also on view will be the artist’s sketchbooks, photographs, and major works from select private collections.