Art: The American Impressionists

French impressionist painting has become one of the most sought after and, therefore, overpriced arts in history. The exquisite American impressionist school, which followed in the light footsteps of the French, remains undervalued. Yet museum directors—sensitive to a growing popular interest in American painting—have been snapping up such characteristic examples as Childe Hassam's Church at Old Lyme, Conn, and Maurice Prendergast's Sunset and Sea Fog (opposite).

The main strength of the impressionists, both foreign and domestic, was color—and color has always been a sometime thing. Man never has needed a highly developed color sense in order to get around, though he...

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