Looking Forward / Looking Back

John Singer Sargent: Portrait of Count Albert de Belleroche
John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Count Albert de Belleroche, oil on canvas.
Mrs. A.E. Carlton Purchase Fund
The Donald C. and Elizabeth M. Dickinson
Foundation Gallery

The work in this gallery spans the 19th and 20th centuries.  In this era, American artists held fast to purely American subject matter, but began to adopt new painting techniques derived from European precedents, especially Impressionism.  Recognizable American personalities like Elsie Palmer, daughter of General William Palmer, places like Garden of the Gods, and scenes of American labor and spirituality were rendered with vibrant colors and ever-loosening brushstrokes. 

Many of these paintings were created by artists of the Broadmoor Academy which flourished in Colorado Springs from 1919 to 1945.  The Academy was an important cultural center in the Rocky Mountain West and the predecessor to the Fine Arts Center.  The Academy attracted important nationally-renowned artists, many of whom taught here for a time.  There was also a strong tie to the major art centers of Taos and Santa Fe.  Painters John Carlson and Robert Reid were the first teachers at the Broadmoor Academy, and Carlson was its first director.  Other prominent artists associated with the Academy and the Fine Arts Center were Ernest Lawson, Archie Musick, and Eric Bransby. 

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