Macbeth Gallery, New York (acquired from the artist Sept. 4, 1911 through 1917)
Purchased by Mr. S. G. Carkhoff, Akron, Ohio, from Macbeth, 1917
Gift to Akron Art Institute (Museum), 1954
2016 - 2018: Haslinger galleries, 11/16/16 - 4/30/2018, Akron Art Museum
2012 - 2016: McDowell galleries, 8/29/12 - 11/16/16, Akron Art Museum
2011 - 2012: "Landscapes from the Age of Impressionism" 10/9/11 - 2/5/12, Akron Art Museum
2007 - 2011: "Opening exhibition, McDowell galleries" 7/7/07 - 10/2/11, Akron Art Museum
2004 - 2006: "American Impressions: An Arcadian Vision: Paintings from the Akron Art Museum" 4/8/04-3/19/06, Organized by the Trust for Museum Exhibitions and Akron Art Museum: Tour
4/8/04 - 6/6/04, The Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida
9/17/04 - 11/28/04, University Art Museum, Lafayette, Louisiana
12/18/04 - 2/27/05, Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, Florida
3/12/05 - 5/22/05, Fresno Metropolitan Museum, Fresno, California
6/4/05 - 9/5/05, The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York
10/8/05 - 12/4/05, Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee
12/16/05 - 3/12/06, Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, Ohio
2003: "In a Romantic Mood: American Impressionists and Their Era" 6/14/03 - 8/24/03, Akron Art Museum
2001 - 2002: "Frederick C. Frieseke: The Evolution of an American Impressionist"
3/20/01 - 6/3/01, Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia
6/23/01 - 8/18/01, Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee
9/15/01 - 11/10/01, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California
12/8/01 - 2/3/02, Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, Illinois
1997 - 1998: "A 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Collection" 11/15/97 - 1/11/98, Akron Art Museum
1996: "Akron's Own Rings: Five Passions in World Art" 6/22/96 - 8/11/96, Akron Art Museum
1992: "Impressionism and Tonalism from the Akron Art Museum Collection" 9/12/92 - 11/8/92, Akron Art Museum
1988 - 1989: " American Paintings 1880-1917" 2/24/88 - 2/12/89, Akron Art Museum
1913: "Seventeen Paintings by Frederick C. Frieseke" 3/18/13 - 4/4/13, Detroit Museum of Art, Detroit, Michigan
1913: "One Hundred and Eighth Annual Exhibition" 2/9/13 - 3/30/13, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1912: "Winter Exhibition" 12/14/12 - 1/12/13, National Academy of Design, New York, New York
1912: "Seventh Annual Exhibition of Paintings" 5/21/12 - 9/2/12, Buffalo Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
1912: "Exhibition of Paintings by Frederick C. Frieseke" 2/18/12 - 3/11/12, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts
1912: "Paintings by Frederick C. Frieseke" 1/17/12 - 1/30/12, MacBeth Gallery, New York, New York
Signed recto LL "F. C. Frieseke"
On top stretcher member: 1. Label: "54.38 Painting-oil-American, Frederick C. Frieseke, 1874-1939, 'Through the Vines'"
2. Label: "The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, One Hundreth and Eighth Annual Exhibition, Title:'Through the Vines', Artist: F. C. Frieseke, Return Address: 450-5 Avenue, N. Y." Stamped on this label: "1384"
3. Label: "Painting by American Artists, William Macbeth, 450 Fifth Ave. New York. 'Through the Vines'. F.C. Frieseke"
4. Written in red ink: "AAI 54.38"
Horizontal Crossbar: 1. Label: "Title: 'On the River' , Artist: Frederick Carl Frieseke. Return to Frederick Carl (obliterated), 246 Blvd. Raspail, Paris, France"
2. Written in black crayon: "B 127-2"
Vertical Crossbar: 1. Label: "P. Navez. Emballages de Tableaux & Objects D'art, 76 Rue Blanche, 76-Paris. Exposition de Philadelphia, No. 31, M. C. Frieseke"
Frederick C. Frieseke
Through the Vines, around 1908
Collection of the Akron Art Museum
The little river Epte runs through Giverny, stroking the underside of Monet's water lilies. In 1908 the river still supported enough fish enough to tempt Monet's neighbor, Frederick Frieseke, to occasionally leave his painting in favor of a less risky activity. Frieseke had visited Giverny earlier and was surely working there in the summer of 1905, when he wrote from the local Hotel Baudy to Sarah O'Bryan in Paris. The artist married O’Bryan in October of that year, and in the summer of 1906 the couple began renting a house near Monet’s. In the months of good weather they, like many among the summer colony of American artists, lived in Giverny. There Frieseke could expand his experiment of working directly from the figure in moving sunlight.
Frieseke’s had been the standard painter’s training, prescribing the use of the regulated light that falls into the studio from the north. This exposure was chosen because the shifts in cast shadow were minimized, allowing the student to consider the three-dimensionality of a figure for many daylight hours while, now and then, a passing instructor complained about the harshness of a line, or the weight of a rendered volume. Under the north light, color also tended to remain muted and harmonious, and seldom shocked.
By 1903 when Frieseke began painting out of doors, plein-air painting was already a well-established and highly visible tradition in Paris. He knew it well, but even so the change occurring in his work when he took his tools into the world outdoors was like being swept into a revolution.
What first stands out when we look at Through the Vines is its vibrant, almost vicious color. Just two years earlier Frieseke had installed the murals of beach scenes he had painted for the Hotel Shelburne in Atlantic City. Although he painted the murals in his Paris studio, their scale—and their purpose as decoration—had finally weaned him from the obedient harmonies fostered by his academic training. In the murals Frieseke experimented with the color of the Fauves and of Edvard Munch and Joaquin Sorolla. The dazzling rush of color threatens but, with Frieseke, can never conquer the accuracy of his line.
To paint outdoors is to wrestle with defiantly independent elements, including viscous and expensive materials, the plan of the painting, the changes to that plan caused by the act of painting, the wind, the threat of rain. In addition, the artist’s wife, in a boat, on the river, may at any moment complain that if she doesn’t get out of that costume and to the bakery before noon, lunch is going to be a problem. Or does someone else want to go? Likely enough Lawton Parker or Guy Rose may be on the bank and painting from this frantic idyll at the same time. Meanwhile, at 11:03:17 A.M., the painter, holding the canvas steady with one hand, has just caught sight of the transparent double discs of red light cast by the sun through the parasol onto the model’s cheek and chin—and he must have them. At 11:03:18 A.M. they will exist no longer. Their color and shape are as precious and fugitive as the illuminations on the skin of the neck, which are a different color since they have not passed through the parasol.
Everyone and everything here is working. If the image presented should be read as one of leisure, the viewer might do well to remember the old show biz line, “Never let ‘em see you sweat.”
- Nicholas Kilmer, 2001
Frederick Carl Frieseke: The Evolution of an American Impressionist. With essays by Nicholas Kilmer, Virginia M. Mecklenburg, David Sellin, and H. Barbara Weinberg. Savannah, Ga.: Telfair Museum of Art, 2001.
Gerdts, William H. Monet's Giverny, an Impressionist Colony. New York: Abbeville, 1993.
Sellin, David. Americans in Brittany and Normandy, 1860–1910. Phoenix: Phoenix Art Museum, 1982.
Weber, Bruce. The Giverny Luminists: Frieseke, Miller and Their Circle. New York: Berry-Hill Galleries, 1995.