Charles Frederick Ramsey (1875-1951), the son of prominent Philadelphia painter, Milne Ramsey, spent his formative years as an artist studying in Paris at the Académie Julien. He later studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he trained under William Merritt Chase. By 1903 he became a regular contributor to what would become the New Hope school of impressionist and modernist art; Ramsey was proficient in both styles. Ramsey painted this oil-on-board landscape sketch in 1932 and presented it to his pastor & wife, Mr & Mrs Willis D. Ballou, for Christmas that year (see below). The signed and dated dedication in Ramsey’s hand on the back identifies the location of the riverine scene as “somewhere between” Windsor, MA, and Cummington, MA, which places it in the Berkshire Mountains. By 1932, Ramsey had largely abandoned impressionism for abstraction, but here he shows his still-fresh command of the style. (In1930 Ramsey founded the New Group, where artists could exhibit artwork of their own choosing in a non-judgmental environment.) Ramsey continued to enjoy a successful career as an artist, painting until his death in his studio in New Hope, PA, where he had moved permanently with his family in 1917. Ramsey's work has been exhibited at the Michener Art Museum in The New Hope Modernists, 1917 1950 (1991), Objects of Desire: Treasures from Private Collections (2005-2006), The Painterly Voice: Bucks County's Fertile Ground (2011- 2012), and The Brush is Mightier than the Sword: Twentieth Century Works from the Michener Art Museum Collection (2013). Dimensions: Image, 10” x 14”, Frame: 13.75” x 17”. Condition: Painting, in original condition, signed and dated lower right as well as on reverse. Frame: Possibly original, rough, with losses. Note: Picture hanger no longer attached.
The dedication reads: "Folks that by never failing thoughtfulness and loving kindness as their pastor for nearly seven years, have made Xmas joy for me and mine through all the year."