New hope modernists:the new group and independents


The New Hope Modernists were active in the first half of the twentieth century along side their New Hope Impressionist peers. In 1930, modernist Lloyd Ney submitted a painting of the New Hope canal for entry to a juried exhibition at the Phillips Mill. One of the bridges depicted in the work was painted in a bright red. An influential member of the jury board, William Lathrop, elected to reject Ney???s painting, citing the bright colors too disturbing. When word of this omission reached fellow modernist, Charles Ramsey, he decided to take action. Miffed by this disregard for their modernist ideas and techniques, Ramsey formed the ???New Group,??? an organization intended to rebel against the more traditional impressionists. New Group members had their inaugural show in the New Hope Town Hall on May 15, 1930, a day before the Phillips Mill Impressionist exhibition. The New Group operated with no formal organization or committees, and allowed each artist to select his or her work. Artists included Charles Ramsey, Stanley Reckless, Ethel Wallace, Lloyd Ney and Charles Garner. Although Charles Ramsey was creating Cubist and modernist works in New Hope in the late teens (such as ???The New Hope-Lambertville Bridge??? c. 1919), the New Group was the first designated modernist organization to form there but was soon followed by another association called the Independents. This group consisted of most New Group artists as well as R.A.D. Miller, Peter Keenan, Charles Evans, Henry Baker, Richard Wedderspoon, Carl Lindborg, Frederick Harer, Faye Swengel Badura, Louis Stone and Charles Ward, among others. Other important modernist painters to later settle in the area were Josef Zenk, Scandinavian-born B.J.O. Nordfeldt, Swiss-born Joseph Meierhans who studied in New York with John Sloan, Clarence Carter, and precisionist, Richard Peter Hoffman of Allentown. Source: James Alterman, "New Hope for American Art", p. 13