American Tonalist Society (ATS)
Founding members / current officers:
Pres Eleinne Basa
VP Daniel Ambrose
Sec Mary Erickson
Treas Donald Demers
The American Tonalist Society (ATS) was founded in August 2016, during discussions around the dining room table at Nanatuck, a summer artists’ retreat in Port Clyde, Maine. Prompted by conversations about the current progression of art styles with Don Demers, Mary Erickson and Daniel Ambrose, Eleinne noted through art history the isms, and how they are repeating themselves. We are seeing a resurgence of the tonalist movement now, following the popularity of plein air painting in the 90’s and classical realism in the early part of this century.
The tonalist movement illustrates the departure from emphasis on color, strong contrasts, bravura brushwork, high chroma, and detail. Instead, it focuses on emotion, spirituality, feeling and mood, encompassing luscious, luminous, and vaporous atmospheric effects featuring foggy mornings, evocative moonlit nights with a minimal palette of neutral hues. Like visual poetry, tonalist paintings have a quiet statement of contemplation, mystery, and intrigue.
To recognize, promote and showcase the current tonalist movement, and to continue the tradition of the American Tonalists of the 1800s through workshops, exhibitions and catalogues.
The purpose of the painter is simply…to awaken an emotion. – George Inness
Painters of the Early Tonalism Movement
Ralph Albert Blakelock American, 1847-1919 Thomas Wilmer Dewing American, 1851-1938] Robert Swain Gifford American, 1840-1905 Alexander Thomas Harrison American, 1854 -1929 Lowell Birge Harrison American, 1854-1929 George Inness American, 1825-1894 John La Farge American, 1835-1910 Arthur Frank Mathews American, 1860-1945 John Francis Murphy American, 1853-1921 Albert Pinkham Ryder American, 1847-1917 John Henry Twachtman American,1853-1902 Julian Alden Weir American,1852-1919 James Abbott McNeill Whistler American, 1843-1903
Quote by Innes: the goal of a painting is to awaken emotion…