Despite academic training at the Académie Julian in Paris, Hassam gravitated to more avant-garde styles. He returned to America as a full-fledged "impressionist" and proceeded to receive acclaim for his city street scenes and American flag series. Hassam exhibited in the prestigious Armory Show of 1913, but eventually became a member of The Ten, a group of artists who refused to exhibit in juried exhibitions. Hassam was a close friend of the American sculptress, Anna Hyatt Huntington (1876 - 1973), whose work may be seen today at Brookgreen Gardens (near Myrtle Beech, South Carolina) where she lived and worked. Hassam visited Charleston in 1925 and executed a small group of etchings of popular sites including St. Philip's Church. "April" was presented to the Gibbes by Mr. and Mrs. Huntington in 1936. Based on the nineteenth-century style dress of the subject and the painting's original title, "April 1859," recent scholars believe that Hassam intended this painting as a portrayal of his mother, Rosa Hathorne Hassam, during her pregnancy. In April, Rosa would have been in her third month of pregnancy with her artist son born on October 17, 1859.