Quarry at Byram

Daniel Garber (American, 1880-1958)

Currently on View in K208
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  • The artist’s treatment of the huge, gaping cliff face captures the viewer’s attention and overwhelms the details of the buildings and bridges along the river’s edge.
  • The Impressionists’ interest in light effects can be seen in the play of glowing colors on the cliff, even though Garber chose to render the scene tightly and deliberately, with a firm composition and less bravura brushwork than many of his fellow American Impressionists in this gallery.
  • Garber was part of a group of painters called the “New Hope Group” after nearby New Hope, Pennsylvania. Like many of his contemporaries, he applied Impressionist technique to American subjects, particularly the quarries near his home.
Daniel Garber and the Landscape of the Delaware River Valley

Daniel Garber was born in 1880 to a Mennonite farm family near North Manchester, Indiana. He eventually settled in Pennsylvania, where he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under William Merritt Chase. He was awarded a fellowship, which allowed him to study in England, France, and Italy. When he returned in 1909, he became a faculty member of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, teaching painting and drawing for the next forty-one years. Garber was known as one of the leaders of the Pennsylvania Impressionists, or the New Hope School, as the group was called. He depicted the quarries, woods, and Delaware River Valley of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His home near Lumberville was not far from the great stone quarries at Byram, New Jersey, which he often painted. Like most Impressionists, Garber painted out of doors directly from nature. These patterned scenes were dominated by shades of blue, green, and yellow. His work earned gold medals and numerous awards and prizes.

Quarry at Byram exemplifies Garber’s painting of these excavations. He recreates their raw, craggy surfaces with great deliberation, devoting his Impressionist sensibilities to the play of light across the Pennsylvania soil. Garber infused the setting with his own lyrical approach to the American landscape, achieving a subtle balance between the cliff’s massive volume and its rich surface properties.

Humphries, Lance. Daniel Garber: His Life and Work. New York: Hollis Taggart Galleries, 2006.

Peterson, Brian H. Pennsylvania Impressionism. Philadelphia: James A Michener Art Museum and University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.

Gift of the artist to the Art Museum, John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, in 1955.

Object Information

Daniel Garber (American, 1880-1958)
creation date
about 1917
oil on canvas
52-1/2 x 56-1/2 in.
58-1/2 x 64 in. (framed)
accession number
credit line
Gift of the Artist
© Daniel Garber
American Painting and Sculpture to 1945

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