Alderfer Auction shines a light on Pennsylvania Impressionists Sept. 28

Pennsylvania Impressionists

‘Winter Farmhouse’ by Walter E. Baum, oil on canvas, 16 in. x 20 in. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500. Alderfer Auction image


HATFIELD, Pa. – Alderfer Auction’s upcoming Fine & Decorative Arts Auction on Sept. 28th, will feature some exceptional and collectible works of art. Among them, will be several paintings by Pennsylvania Impressionist Walter Emerson Baum (1884-1956) who was part of an esteemed group of artists that were also referred to as the Bucks County Impressionists or artists of The New Hope School. Absentee and Internet bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

The New Hope School of painting was started by William Langson Lathrop and Edward Redfield in 1898. Attracted to the unspoiled land of Bucks County, artists captured the light and shadows of local landscapes in the plein-air style (painting outside “in the open air”). The group grew to include the likes of Schofield, Sotter, Snell, Coppedge, Garber, and Baum. Characterized by thick brushwork and bold colors, the Pennsylvania Impressionists created some of the most well-known and highly prized works of the early 20th century.


Pennsylvania Impressionists

‘Farm Ensemble’ by Walter E. Baum, oil on board, 11 ¾ in. x 15 ½ in. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500. Alderfer Auction image


Baum was born in Sellersville, Pa., where he remained his entire life. He was not only a painter, but also a printmaker, teacher and writer. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and later founded the Allentown Art Museum and Baum School of Art. He created the Bucks County Traveling Art Gallery, teaching art appreciation to area schools. He was a prolific artist over four decades, with more than 2,000 works to his credit, in oils, tempera, watercolor and pastel. Baum painted country and village scenes of Bucks and Lehigh Counties, as well as, urban town streets of Eastern Pennsylvania. He was responsible for expanding the Impressionist movement out of Bucks County and into Lehigh County, where it continued to flourish into the 1940s and ’50s. This Lehigh Valley group became known as the “Baum Circle.” Impressionism started to fade out of style in the ’50s, giving way to modernism and abstract art. It has regained popularity in recent decades, however, as evidenced by auction sales of art in this style.

W.E. Baum (as he signed most of his works) continues to attract collectors, both locally as well as across the country. In November of 2007, The Pink House sold for $73,000 and in December of that same year, April Spring Day sold at Alderfer Auction for $54,625. More recently, Helfrich Springs sold for $8,000 (December 2015), and Main sold for $4,000 (Dec. 2016), both at Alderfer Auction.


Pennsylvania Impressionists

John E. Berninger, (Pennsylvania, 1897-1981), oil on artist board, covered bridge located on Wehr Mill Road, Allentown, Pa., 16 in x 20 in. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500. Alderfer Auction image


In addition to Walter Baum, this sale will include other Bucks County Impressionists such as Ranulph Bye, Kenneth Nunamaker, Thomas Otter, Harry Leith-Ross, Hobson Pittman, John E. Berninger and others.


Pennsylvania Impressionists

Hobson Pittman (Pennsylvania, 1999-1972), oil on canvas, 24 in. x 30 in. Estimate: $3,000-$6,000. Alderfer Auction image


For details call Alderfer Auction at 215-393-3000.