Spring Planting - Stony Ridge, ca. 1947 signed 'Daniel Garber' (lower left) and titled and inscribed 'Spring Planting - Stony Ridge by Daniel Garber' (on stretcher) oil on canvas 25 x 30in
PROVENANCE: The artist sold to Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Prange, Solebury, PA, 1951 Thence by descent to the present Bucks County family
EXHIBITED: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1948, cat.7. New Hope, PA, Phillips Mill, 1950.
LITERATURE: Artist's Record Book I, p.67, lines 31-37 Robert E. Baum to Daniel Garber, February 25, 1948, Artist's Letter File Lance Humphries, Daniel Garber Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 2006, II, p.282-283, no.820, illus.
The distinctive style of Daniel Garber has been difficult to define for art critics since his election into the National Academy of Design in 1913. His work has been "categorized in remarkably contradictory ways: American, academic, realist, Impressionist, post-Impressionist, idealist, romantic, modern." However, the art historian, Lance Humphries, has perhaps best defined Garber as a "romantic realist" (Humphries, Daniel Garber, p.13).
The contradiction of romanticism and realism most aptly describes the complexity of influences that has informed the work of Daniel Garber. In Spring Planting Stony Ridge, Garber gracefully unites a romantic view of rural America alongside a realistic rendering of a Stony Ridge family and farm. The deep unearthly orange of the planted field is a striking swath of paint on a canvas already rich with color. In the sky, Garber's prominent brush strokes give substantive form to the slanting rays of the early morning sun. In the present work, Garber communicates the symbolism of a new beginning in the depiction of daybreak, the act of spring planting, and even the charming image of a newborn baby in the arms of its mother.