Refreshment and Intermission, tempera on board, 11 x 19 inches, c. 1930/40s, signed lower middle, exhibited at Groom's one person show at Closson’s Gallery, Cincinnati, OH, March, 1943 (see The Cincinnati Enquirer, March 7, 1943, section 3, p. 4); provenance includes a private Ohio collection; presented in a period gold painted frame
About the Painting
Refreshment and Intermission is part of a series of paintings of Amish subjects Grooms started in 1938 based on his travels in Pennsylvania. These tempera works reflect the Regionalist impulse to paint local scenes far away from big cities. Focusing on both people and landscape, Grooms' compositions tell the stories of the uniquely American experience of the Amish. “Grooms paints the Amish people with as much understanding of type and appreciation of the plastic quality as any artist who has approached this challenging subject," noted the art critic for The Cincinnati Inquirer when reviewing Grooms' solo exhibition at Closson' Gallery, "In his current show, ‘Refreshment and Intermission,’ is a case in point. Here the absorbed concentration of people eating is described without an ounce of sentimentality. He has made the most of the interest between groups and of the conversations, both humorous and serious. The work has the quaint simplicity of a Lord’s Supper without the religious element.” Refreshment and Intermission is related to other Amish works Grooms exhibited during the Great Depression, including The Bridegroom Toss (New York Worlds Fair), The Amish Man (Cincinnati Art Museum), and After Amish Meeting (Cincinnati Art Museum and The Golden Gate International Exhibition (San Francisco)). Reflecting on the Grooms' Amish pictures, a critic wrote, "To see Mr. Grooms' canvases of these Amish people and their farmland is to have a real experience."
About the Artist
Reginald Grooms was an Ohio painter, teacher and lithographer, best known for his American Scene and Regionalist works of the 1930s and 1940s. Born, in Cincinnati, Grooms attended his hometown Art Academy from 1917 through 1923 before moving to Paris where he attended the Académie Julian until 1925 and participated in the Paris Salon. He was an active member of Cincinnati Art Club (President 1933-35), the Cincinnati MacDowell Society (President 1941 - 43), the Scarab Club and the Ohio Watercolor Society. Grooms exhibited nationally at the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Kearney Gallery (Milwaukee), the New York World's Fair and the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. He was a skilled teacher, serving at the Cincinnati Art Academy and the University of Cincinnati. He is listed in Who Was Who in American Art and all other standard references.