In 1880, the artist Thomas Wilmer Dewing, New England bred, moved to New York where he joined the beau monde. Despite his vibrant social life, his best paintings depict figures far from the din: female figures move through ghostly green worlds, but they’re dressed in finery and beautifully groomed, as if they’d wandered away from a dinner party. Dewing ultimately retreated to verdant New Hampshire, where he founded the Cornish art colony. The Smithsonian explores Dewing’s split affinities—in society he was inspired by intellectual comrades, while out in nature he pursued a “higher life”—and presents his works alongside photographs of the colony. —C.J.F.
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