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The Hamilton Club Art Collection

The Hamilton Club Art Collection held by Passaic County Community College is an important collection of nineteenth and early twentieth century works of art.

The variety of artists, subjects, and quality of the work represented makes it an artistically, culturally and historically significant collection. The paintings, prints, and decorative arts are now on permanent exhibition in the restored Hamilton Club Building, 32 Church Street at Ellison Street in Paterson, New Jersey, for the enjoyment of the public.

A catalog with color photographs and information about the art works is available in the Cultural Affairs Department at Passaic County Community College. For information call (973) 684-5444.

Selected Paintings

Aurelio Zingoni (1853-1922)

News From the Front, 1881 

Italian artist Aurelio Zingoni was born in Florence in 1853. Influenced by the earlier Flemish painters, Zingoni’s paintings reveal his sensitive observation of nature and careful attention to realistic detail. Best known for rustic scenes of simple, everyday life, he also received recognition for his still life paintings. His works are in collections throughout Europe and the United States.

News from the Front is a superb example of Aurelio Zingoni’s interest in naturalism and his preference for themes from ordinary daily life. True to his style, the artist has created a sensitive genre scene with amazing detail, order, and harmony.

Edouard Debat-Ponsan (1847-1913)

The Conversation, 1892 – Oil on canvas; 25 ¾ x 36 ¼ in. 

Born in Toulouse in 1847, Edouard Debat-Ponsan was a versatile French painter of history and genre scenes, portraits, and landscapes. He was elected President of the Society of French Artists and was named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

Debat-Ponsan shows his versatility as a painter in The Conversation. Completed in 1892, this painting shows the artist’s interest in Impressionism, the new style of the period. He uses the broken brushstrokes, dots and dabs of pure color, and the brighter palette typical of the style. In contrast to the painterly, impressionistic brushwork, the artist demonstrates his skill as a portrait painter with smooth, blended brushstrokes and his focus on the details of the girls’ faces.

Max Silbert, (1871-?)

Brittany Peasants Return from the Fete, c. 1925 – Oil on canvas; 52 x 73 in.

A genre painter, Max Silbert was born in Odessa, Russia, but later became a French citizen. He exhibited his work at the Salon of French Artists and was awarded a silver medal in 1920.

In Max Silbert’s painting Brittany Peasants Return from the Fete, a group of people dressed in their finest traditional costumes are traveling by train. Silbert and other turn of the century artists flocked to the remote region of Brittany on the northwestern coast of France to paint the people and countryside unspoiled by modern life. Here, he has presented the traditional culture of Brittany in an ironic mix with the progress of the early twentieth century.

Julian Walbridge Rix (1850-1903)

Landscape with Figures, late 19 th century – Oil on canvas, 26 x 36 in.

Nationally known for his atmospheric landscapes, Julian Rix first established his reputation as a successful artist in California before coming east to Paterson, New Jersey, in 1881. Rix opened a studio in New York City in 1891 and was recognized as one of the leading American landscape painters of the day. His works are in many public collections including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Walker Art Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and locally at the Paterson Free Public Library and the Passaic County Historical Society, Lambert Castle. Rix died in 1903 and was buried at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in Paterson.

Landscape with Figures is an example of the artist’s ability to create atmospheric effects in nature that evoke mood in his paintings. In this picture, dark gray clouds hovering over a hillside scene with figures suggest an impending thunderstorm. To the right a city with smokestacks and a church steeple can be seen in the distance. Perhaps Rix has presented a view of the industrial city of Paterson in the late nineteenth century.