The Nichols Brothers: A Dialogue in Art and Life 

September 8 – October 24, 2010

Reception and Gallery Talk on September 16, 7pm

Spencer Nichols, Dawn on Bald Mountain

The OSilas Gallery is honored to present the work of brothers Hobart and Spencer Nichols, exhibited together for the first time. The Nichols brothers are important early 20th century Bronxville artists with significance well beyond the village borders. This exhibition shows an exceptional representation of the work of Hobart and Spencer Nichols and explores the visual dialogue between these artists and brothers. Not only can we study how the brothers treated favorite themes throughout their respective artistic journeys, but also consider the quite different paths the brothers chose artistically and professionally while still maintaining close family ties. Here we can also see the ways in which Hobart and Spencer Nichols brought their own sensibilities to similar subjects.

It is not unusual for siblings to pursue the same passion, particularly when they follow in a family tradition. Such was the case for Henry Hobart and Spencer Baird Nichols, sons of an eminent wood engraver in Washington, DC. Hobart (1869-1962) studied at the Art Students’ League in Washington, DC, and the Academie Julian in Paris. He became known early for his skill as a leader of artists and administrator of key arts organizations (which ultimately included the National Academy of Design, the Tiffany Foundation, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art) in addition to being recognized as an accomplished landscape painter. He resided in Bronxville for nearly 50 years, and was a key member of the Lawrence Park artists’ colony here as well as the New York City art world.

Spencer (1875-1950) studied at the Corcoran School of Art and the Washington Art Students League, where he also taught illustration at the age of 17. He served as chief designer for the Tiffany Studios and executed ethereal book illustrations for works by Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde, among others. Spencer lived in Bronxville for a decade or so prior to 1922, at which time he moved his family and studio to Kent, where he focused on easel painting and became a central figure in the Kent art colony. Hobart regularly visited Spencer there, and rendered many scenes of the village and surrounding hills.

The Gallery is very excited to premiere a new tour technology for this show. We are honored to present the voices and stories of Barbara Sussman, granddaughter of Spencer Nichols, Helen Jacobs and Margaret Bunnell, daughters of Spencer Nichols, to be featured on our new Cell Phone Tour. They will share intimate and personal reflections on the paintings and the life they shared with their family. Please bring your cell phone and join us to listen to history in the making.

The exhibition is curated by Sarah Underhill, freelance writer and editor in art and architecture and former Director of Programs and Community Relations for the OSilas Gallery, and Barbara Sussman, professional artist and fine arts appraiser and granddaughter of Spencer Nichols. The OSilas Gallery is privileged to show works from the Nichols Family’s private collection, as well as works from the National Academy Museum, New York City, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair NJ, as well as numerous other private collections.

Gallery Events

Music in the Gallery: Impressionism in America
Sunday, September 19, 4PM

A trio of Concordia Conservatory faculty members joins forces to present a program exploring the powerful union of music and art in the Impressionist era.

Sarah Hoover, soprano; Jee Sun Lee, violin; Annette Espada, cello.

Tickets: $20 adults, $10 children and seniors. Tickets available at door.

Children in the Gallery: ARTyFACTS
Saturday, October 2, 3:30-5PM

Join us in the Gallery to explore the Exhibition, followed by a hands-on art project in the Art Studio inspired by the exhibit. Free! Children ages 5-10, accompanied by an adult.