Born in Boston in 1859, Hassam's ancestors emigrated to America from England in the 17th century. He established himself as a painter in Boston by 1882, later going to Paris between 1886 to 1889 to discover what the French Impressionists were doing.

Childe Hassam, Self-portrait Childe Hassam, Self-portrait

"I was always interested in the movements of humanity in the street...There is nothing so interesting to me as people. I am never tired of observing them in everyday life, as they hurry through the streets on business or saunter down the promenade on pleasure." - Childe Hassam

Hassam's oeuvre focuses on depicting the frenzied life of America's industrialization. Whilst Hassam was unusual amongst his American Impressionists contemporaries for his frequent portrayals of burgeoning cities, he did seek the countryside as inspiration. His works capturing unspoiled nature were a welcome respite from the hectic life of the city, as well as an exploration in America's proud farming history.

Hassam's canvases depicting the gardens and coast of the Isles of Shoals, Maine, are an important part of his works.  The 1901 piece Coast Scene, Isles of Shoals was the first work by Hassam to enter the collection of the Metropolitan Museum.

At the turn of the century, Hassam became the foremost chronicler of New York City.

Childe Hassam, Fifth Avenue, 1919 Childe Hassam, Fifth Avenue, 1919

In 1892, Hassam said ''the man who will go down to posterity is the man who paints his own time and the scenes of every-day life around him.'' It was this creative urge to capture the ever-changing world around him that meant Hassam will go down in history as a pioneer of American Impressionist, as well as precursor for artists in the 20th century, such as Edward Hopper, who captured the human condition, loneliness of the city and the exact light of the moment as Hassam had done before him.

Hassam was an inspiration for his American artists of his time and the future, not just for his talents with a paintbrush, but also his entrepreneurial skills. He created over 2 000 oils, watercolors, pastels and illustrations, and then from 1912, he made more than 400 etchings and prints.

The artist treated art like a business: creating works, engaging with other artists and art collectors to create his reputation and an art empire of over 50 years of work.

Thanks to his work ethic as well as his undeniable talents as an artist, Hassam is still to this day hailed as the great American Impressionist. Hassam made art his business, mirroring how America around him was becoming industrialized at great speed.

Hassam was known for taking great pride in his nation. His 1916-1919 series of almost 30 paintings of the American flag flying is amongst his most famous works, particularly those that depict the flag flying on Fifth Avenue, New York City.

Hassam painted his flag series both to raise money for the war effort and as a sign of patriotism and solidarity with his fellow Americans.

Childe Hassam (American 1859-1935), watercolor street scene, Toledo, Spain, signed upper left and dated 1910 Childe Hassam (American 1859-1935), watercolor street scene, Toledo, Spain, signed upper left and dated 1910

In 1910, Childe Hassam and his wife traveled to Europe. Amongst other works he painted while abroad, he painted a watercolor scene of a street in Toledo, Spain, which will be hitting the auction block at Pook & Pook this month. An etching done from this work, also completed in 1910, was gifted to the Detroit Institute of Arts by Hassam's widow in 1940 and remains part of their collection.

Pook & Pook's Americana & International auction will take place on October 7 and Online Only Decorative Arts Auction will take place on October 9 & 10, 2017. Check out more here.

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