Flag Paintings of Childe Hassam

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October 17th is the birthday of American painter Frederick Childe Hassam. A leader in the American Impressionist movement, he made well over 2,000 paintings, illustrations, etchings and more. And while he created on a variety of topics, he is perhaps most famous for multiple flag paintings known as “The Flag Series”.

A personal favorite from the series is Allies Day, May 1917, postcard-size version attached. The painting shows multiple Stars and Stripes along with the Union Jack and French Tricolor. But Hassam actually displayed the painting at a gallery in New York four days after the armistice was declared, “to the coming together of [our] three peoples in the fight for democracy”.

Click here for a video overview of Allies Day, May 1917 courtesy of The National Gallery of Art.

Another excellent one of his Flag Series paintings, 1917’s The Avenue in the Rain, is in the White House Collection. Perhaps inspired by President Wilson’s “Peace Without Victory” speech, the painting was made during America’s rising patriotism prior to entering World War I.

Paintings in this series were done between 1916 and 1919, and have even been grouped together in exhibition. As Impressionist paintings do, they express a vibrant energy…an energy symbolic of the time period’s events.

Happy birthday, Childe Hassam. We salute your patriotic visions of our American flag.

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