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|American Impressionism. He emphasized form and persisted with
"quiet observation of fact" typical of much American painting in the last
quarter of the nineteenth century. Although Coggeshall's interest
in light atmosphere increased, his work is suffused with that very American
reverence for the forms of nature born of nineteenth century philosophy
and the Luminist and Hudson River painting movements.
By the turn of the century urban scenes were finally considered worthy subject matter by artists, and Coggeshall began to portray them in his work. In 1913 he completed a commission for the Lowell Sun, Cause and Effect, two twelve-foot long paintings depicting the Pawtucket Dam and the "mile of mills." Painting industrial subjects probably came easily to this artist who had spent years creating engravings of Lowell factories, and who had a photographer's and printer's interest in technology.
John Coggeshall frequently sketched outdoors in pencil and watercolor. He often went with William Phelps to areas around Lowell and to the Monadnock region of New Hampshire. During the summer he did much of his creative work on the ocean near Boston Harbor and later, in Gloucester. One Lowell critic felt that Coggeshall succeeded best "in the strong light of day and in the open spaces of sea..."
Coggeshall exhibited widely during his lifetime, primarily in Lowell and Boston. An invitation from one of his summer school students also resulted in exhibits in the mid-west. The artist was prolific and sold much of his work but unfortunately the whereabouts of the majority of his painting is unknown. By today's standards, the prices received by the artist seem low. In 1901 several oil paintings sold for between $50 and $75 each, and watercolors, for $5 to $7 apiece.