The Hayden clan, emigrating westward, founded Haydenville, Ohio, where Edward Parker Hayden was born on May 21, 1858, the son of William Hallock and Eliza (Goodspeed) Hayden. But Hayden, himself, settled in the east, choosing the sister city, Haydenville, Massachusetts, which his relatives had founded more than a century earlier, and where he died in 1922 (the correct year as attested by Edward P. Bentley’s brief memoir of Hayden).
After spending his boyhood in nearby Columbus, Ohio, we know that Hayden moved to New York City, where he studied under William Lamb Picknell, who certainly pointed Hayden in the direction of Massachusetts. Picknell was a brilliant early plein-aire master, known particularly for the clarity of his light, the same clarity that dominates in Hayden’s works. By the early 1880s, Hayden began exhibiting at the Salmagundi Club in New York, where he was a member, and by 1890, he was living in Cummington, Massachusetts, next door to Haydenville, and one of the splendid Berkshire hill towns, including Goshen and Charlemont. He was close to the LaValley brothers of Western Massachusetts, Jonas, the still-life painter, and more so with William LaValley, the landscape artist, with whom he shared a studio for many years, and it was only two years before Hayden’s death that LaValley moved north to South Londonderry, Vermont. Another major influence was Hugh Bolton Jones, who Hayden certainly met, as he revisited many of the landscapes Jones, nearby in South Egremont, had rendered in one masterpiece after another.
In 1889, he began exhibiting at the National Academy, which he did through 1897. He later exhibited at the Boston Art Club, the Philadelphia Art Club, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Society of American Artists. The Columbus Ohio Museum of Art held Hayden’s most important retrospective exhibit in 1942, where Berkshire Spring was a featured work. The twenty-three canvases shown there “follow his style from its somewhat precise beginnings through an expanding palette and growing sense of construction that empowered his mature expression of 1910-1916.”
Text by Dryads Green Gallery submitted with permission by Jackie Wolf-Heinl, Wolf's Fine Art