2015 / 2016 / 2017 /2019
Judson is at home in Florence and at Il Palmerino; in fact, his attitude is that of someone who has always been part of our big family. He generally arrives in the off-season, and his visits were very frequent before he started his family. He now has three children, with Sarah, whom he met in Florence. They attended the Florence Art Academy – where he first studied painting and later taught Art History. Although his trips back to Florence happen less often now, Judson is always ready to embark on a new quest for impressions and sensations that he will later put to canvas. And while his family might well prefer the comfort of a luxury hotel in Florence, he comes to us, armed with his huge painter's palette, and prefers to stay in our humble hillside refuge.
Judson is a fine painter and thanks to his knowledge and love for the history of painting, he is able to maintain a detached, modest attitude towards his art and career. He is always ready to sponsor other artists, and support them as they evolve and grow.
We have always been struck by the fact that he often finds himself at the centre of an expansive network of artists, many of whom he met in Florence, during his formative years, but never left. Yet, beyond his knowledge of the present-day art scene, Judson is able to relate to various schools and artists of the last century, both from his home country and Europe. He has ample knowledge of the historic events and connections that fuelled various art movements throughout generations. Thanks to his help, we were able to find out a significant amount of information about the American sojourn of Federigo Angeli and his master Julius Rolshoven. Additionally, through his knowledge, we were able to learn about events surrounding the lives of Sargent and Vernon Lee. In fact, he pointed us some works of which we had no knowledge.
Other artists have come to Il Palmerino on Judson's suggestion. He has always been supportive of their work and taken them to his favourite secret spots in Fiesole and Settignano or to Bellosguardo, places submerged in history, whose landscape is imbued with spirit and story.
At the end of his day at the easel, he used to drink a glass of wine with Stefano and they would discuss books and authors; his curiosity towards the Italian language – and his knowledge of it – made him Stefano's partner in crime. Judson is a conversationalist who never listens superficially – conversation always offers continuous stimulus aimed at more in-depth research.
He generously left us some works to enrich our collection, like his painting 'immortalising' his mother's legendary Volkswagen – abandoned in a field at dusk. He also gifted Il Palmerino a painting created along the Lungo l'Affrico at sunset. That spot, once called via Piagentina, is an avenue with beautiful cypress trees that leads to Settignano. Then, there is his rendition the Michaellis' house in Maremma. Well-defined light characterises each painting and they capture the spirit of the Place with a capital P. His works are an on-canvas reminder that something special once happened in these evocative spots forming part of the city's art history.