Frederick Carl Frieseke, Richard E.Miller and Louis Ritman, whose paintings you can admire in the American Impressionist Gallery of the IMA, lived in France in the early twentieth century. They settled in the Normandy countryside town of Giverny, which had become a colony of artists attracted by the quiet living and beautiful landscapes revealed twenty years before in Claude Monet’s paintings.
In France, these painters would participate in local exhibitions and develop a network of friends and buyers. They were part of the “Société internationale de peinture et sculpture”and of the “Groupe des peintres et sculpteurs américains de Paris,” which exhibited in Parisian galleries such as the Galerie Georges Petit, Galerie Knoedler, or Galerie Dewambez. Foreign artists were also promoting themselves in societies such as the American Art Association of Paris and the Société Artistique de Picardie. And they frequently exhibited at the Salon, which was the best exposure an artist could dream about in the early twentieth century. Louis Ritman and Frederick Frieseke even became members of the prestigious Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.
In addition to their commercial success, they also received official honors from the French state: Miller and Frieseke were made Knights of the Legion d’Honneur, Miller received a gold medal at the 1900 Salon de la Société des Artistes Français, and paintings by these two artists were bought by the French state and are still part of the French national collection. Although a lot of their works were shipped to the U.S. where dealers such as Macbeth galleries would sell them, these artists found in France a real exposure and official recognition for their art.