Tuesday, March 13, 2007

William Glackens Turns 137

Happy Birthday to William Glackens, member of the Ashcan School and The Eight group of painters and graduate of the PAFA. (His painting Mahone Bay is above.) If you click through to the link on Glackens, it'll take you to the "Art 4 2 day" site that lists birthdays and deaths on this date. Read all the way to the end and you'll see a brief note that Glackens served as the agent and scout for Dr. Albert Barnes of the Barnes Foundation.

I've always been irked by the lack of recognition Glackens has received in the formation of the Barnes Foundation. Glackens was the real discoverer of Renoir for America, not Barnes. Glackens studied the works of Manet, Renoir, Degas, and other French Impressionists when they were actually cutting edge artists. Barnes provided the money to amass the collection, but the real visionary of the Barnes Foundation is William Glackens, at least in my mind. The Barnes Foundation in Lower Merion includes a room of Glackens' work, but too many people rush through to see all the Renoir and Matisse, unfortunately.

Perhaps one day William Glackens will be remembered as one of the pioneers of American Impressionism, but not soon enough for me.

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