In response to long sun-filled days and rising temperatures, we long to escape from the demands of our workaday lives and the heat of congested cities. The hard-earned, two-week summer vacation figures prominently in populist American culture. Beginning with the French Impressionists, artists were among the first to discover nature’s recuperative powers and helped usher in a vogue for outdoor living and exotic travel. Because artists are often the first to discover the newest romantic hideaway, their presence provided an added allure to these idyllic retreats.
This issue examines an array of artists whose work is inspired by our collective musings and memories of summer travel. We begin with a universal summer favorite and preview an exhibition of Historical Circus Posters. Next, we move on to our man-made paradises—trailer parks, swimming pools, and assorted roadside attractions—motifs shared by artists Robert LaDuke, Scott Yeskel, and David Lyle. A profile of French painter Philippe Charles Jacquet takes us into the ultimate escape—a child’s fantasy world. Putney painter Kathy Anderson takes us on a perennial retreat to the summer garden with a step-by-step guide to painting flowers. Matthew Cornell paints ocean waves that you can dive into, and John Dowd paints the sturdy wharfs and cottages of Provincetown, a favorite seaside retreat. Our summer travels end on a high-color note with Hans Hofmann protégé Paul Resika, who depicts a Fauvist fantasy world of kelly-green sailboats and sunny orange skies.
In keeping with the preference for light summer reading, we filled this issue with full-page images, instructive sidebars, and short essays that are well-suited for reading “on the go” and at the beach. Make sure to pack a copy in your travel tote before you head to your favorite vacation destination.