Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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John Appleton Brown (West Newbury, Massachusetts, 7/24/1844 - 1/8/1902, New York City, New York)


Old Fashioned Garden

Creation Date

ca. 1889


late 19th century


21 15/16 in. x 18 in. (55.72 cm x 45.72 cm)

Object Type


Creation Place

North America, United States

Medium and Support

pastel on paperboard

Credit Line

Bequest of Miss Mary Sophia Walker


Public Domain

Accession Number

This large drawing of a New England summer garden is characteristic of the work of American Impressionist artist John Appleton Brown. Nicknamed “Appleblossom Brown,” due to his passion for flowering fruit trees, he specialized in landscapes in oil and pastel. For much of his career, Brown and his wife, the artist Agnes Bartlett, maintained a home and studio in Boston during the winter but ventured north of the city and abroad during summers. In this finished drawing on brown paper, Brown transforms this flower garden against a wooded background into a riotous explosion of color—a veritable noontime fireworks display. Gardens and pastoral landscapes became a staple for Impressionists like Brown and his American compatriots Childe Hassam, John Twachtman, and Frank Benson.

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