Daniel Garber, American (1880 - 1958)

Daniel Garber

Daniel Garber (1880–1958) was an American Impressionist landscape painter and member of the art colony at New Hope, Pennsylvania. He is best known today for his large impressionist scenes of the New Hope area, in which he often depicted the Delaware River. He also painted figurative interior works and excelled at etching. In addition to his painting career, Garber taught art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for over forty years.

Garber was born on April 11, 1880 in North Manchester, Indiana. He studied art at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia from 1899 to 1905. During this time Garber met and married his wife, Mary Franklin, who was also an art student. In the tradition of many American artists, Garber and his wife traveled to Europe to complete his art education. Returning to America in 1907, on the advice of artist William Langson Lathrop he settled at Cuttalossa just downriver from Lumberville, Pennsylvania, six miles up the Delaware River from New Hope.

Like most impressionist painters, Garber painted landscapes en plein air, directly from nature. He exhibited his works nationwide and earned numerous awards, including a gold medal at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915) in San Francisco, California. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Design in 1913. Garber died on July 5, 1958, after falling from a ladder at his studio. Today, Garber's paintings are considered by collectors and art historians to be among the finest works produced from the New Hope art colony. His paintings are owned by major museums including the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Returning to the United States, Garber and his wife Mary Franklin Garber settled on the Kenderdine Homestead, near Lumberville, Pennsylvania, which was purchased for them by Mary’s father. Garber renamed his home Cuttalossa after the creek that was adjacent to the property. Not far from his home, Garber could look across the Delaware River to the great stone quarries at Byram, New Jersey, which he often painted. Garber created a style of landscape painting characterized by romanticized, representational imagery. These scenes, often overlaid with extensive surface patterning, are dominated by blues, greens, and rich yellows. In his compositions, Garber often used a screening device of trees and vines with a sweeping vista behind. Garber was as talented a figure painter as he was a landscapist. He incorporated figures into many of his landscapes and, particularly in the period 1908-1924, he used the figure as his primary subject, in such works as the finely wrought canvas, Mending (1918, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia).

Garber’s work earned gold medals at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1911, 1919, and 1937; the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, held in San Francisco in 1915; and at the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1921. He received numerous other awards and prizes from the National Academy of Design, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Art Club of Philadelphia, and other institutions over the course of his distinguished career.
In addition to his accomplishments as a painter, Garber was a gifted teacher. In 1904 he taught at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women; for over forty years (1909-1950) he served on the faculty of the Pennsylvania Academy.
Works by Garber are housed in important public collections, including the Cincinnati Art Museum; Art Institute of Chicago; Detroit Institute of Arts; James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; the Saint Louis Art Museum; National Gallery of Art and the Phillips Collection, both in Washington, D. C.; and the Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia.

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