Bruce Crane


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Painter. A tonalist landscape specialist, he concentrated on intimate, informally composed scenes. Restrained color harmonies, often silvery or golden, support quiet, contemplative moods. Many of his works describe late autumn views tinged with melancholy. With its nearly bare trees, diffused light, overcast sky, and warmly brownish tonality, Autumn Hills (Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York, 1901) characteristically combines observation and memory into a retrospective elegy for the passing of a particular moment. A screenlike arrangement of forms limits depth and reinforces the composition's decorative appeal. Robert Bruce Crane was born in New York and grew up there. While working as a young man in an architectural office, he painted in his leisure hours. Upon his return from a brief sojourn in Europe, in 1878 he turned to painting full time and soon relinquished the literalism of his early work for more evocative goals. In 1879 he studied with Alexander Wyant. From June 1880 until late in the following year, he worked in Paris and the nearby countryside. After returning to New York, he traveled often to rural areas of the Northeast in search of scenery. From 1904 the area around Old Lyme provided subjects for some of his most admired paintings. He resided in the New York suburb of Bronxville for more than two decades before his death there. His wife, landscape painter Ann Brainerd Crane (1881–1948), was born in New York and studied there with John Twachtman. She continued her training in Paris before marriage in 1904. After her husband's death, she continued to live in Bronxville.

Subjects: Art.

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