Staff Pick 2021, chosen by Marcia L. Vose, Vice-President: "As a lover of animals, this little calf stole my heart. The artist, John Joseph Enneking, was the leading landscape painter of his day around the turn of the 19th century, and his style ranged from Tonalism made popular by the French Barbizon painters to the French Impressionist style that became very popular beginning in the booming 1880s. I like to say that Enneking had a foot in each camp, and this picture is a great example. The brushwork is much looser, in the Impressionist style, yet harks back to the rural subject matter popular before 1900. I have seen a lot of works by Enneking, and I find this painting to be the only one so far that is almost a portrait, up close and personal, not one of a whole herd in the middle distance.
It saddens me that popular taste in art can swing so widely, and now American works from the 19th century are out of favor (and a bargain). Our personal collection of American art includes realist works from both centuries and includes 3 paintings by Enneking, one in his tonalist mode and two impressionist works, one of which approaches abstraction and is done in high-keyed colors.
As we always suggest, buy what you love and forget the latest craze!"