After Whistler: The Artist and His Influence on American Painting

Overview

James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) left the United States for Europe at the age of twenty-one, never to return, and his style developed independently of American art currents. Nonetheless, he left an indelible mark on the art of his native land, for his modernist aesthetic influenced the work of a generation of American painters. This beautifully illustrated book-published to commemorate the centenary of the artist's death-addresses Whistler's extraordinary legacy and establishes his pivotal place in the history ...
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Overview

James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) left the United States for Europe at the age of twenty-one, never to return, and his style developed independently of American art currents. Nonetheless, he left an indelible mark on the art of his native land, for his modernist aesthetic influenced the work of a generation of American painters. This beautifully illustrated book-published to commemorate the centenary of the artist's death-addresses Whistler's extraordinary legacy and establishes his pivotal place in the history of American art. After Whistler juxtaposes fourteen of the artist's most important works with an array of pictures by thirty-eight other American painters-including Henry Ossawa Tanner, William Merritt Chase, and John Singer Sargent-to demonstrate how Whistler's American contemporaries were affected by his techniques, color palette, compositions, and subject matter. The introduction to the book provides an overview of Whistler's association with American artists and the reception of his work in the United States. The essays that follow discuss Whistler's Venetian sojourn and its effect on the American artists who flocked to that city; his relationship with Philadelphia's art community; the Whistler Memorial Exhibition held in Boston in 1904; and much more. This insightful volume is essential reading for anyone interested in American art and Whistler's role in its history.

Author Biography: Linda Merrill is a former curator of American art at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; Marc Simpson is associate director of the graduate program in art history and lecturer on American art at Williams College; Sylvia Yount is curator of American art at the High Museum of Art; John Siewert is assistant professor of modern and contemporary art history at The College of Wooster, Ohio; Robyn Asleson is a former research associate of the National Gallery of Art and the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens; Lee Glazer is an independent scholar specializing in turn-of-the-century American painting; and Lacey Taylor Jordan is an art historian based in Washington, D.C.

This book accompanies an exhibition at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta (November 22, 2003 to February 8, 2004) and the Detroit Institute of Arts (March 6 to May 30, 2004). Published in association with the High Museum of Art, Atlanta

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This catalog accompanies an exhibition that opened in Atlanta's High Museum of Art and is now at the Detroit Institute of Arts through May 30. Part of a spate of books marking the centennial of the artist's death, it documents the broad influence this American expatriate painter and printmaker had on 38 later American artists. James A.M. Whistler (1834-1903) left the United States in 1855 and never returned, fashioning a successful and incendiary career in Europe. Widely studied by younger American artists in Europe after the Civil War, he became a mentor and inspiration to many of his compatriots. Although many of the artists whom Whistler influenced are familiar (e.g., John Singer Sargent, J.W. Alexander, William Merritt Chase), others among the three dozen artists represented in the exhibition (along with 14 paintings by Whistler) are less well known (and in some cases perhaps deservedly so). This book's team of curatorial and academic authors, among them former High Museum curator Merrill, has produced an interesting and thoughtful group of essays. Although there is some overlap, this book is broader than Margaret MacDonald's recent Palaces in the Night: Whistler in Venice or Eric Denker's Whistler and His Circle in Venice. This work will appeal to both scholars and general readers interested in American art.-Jack Perry Brown, Art Inst. of Chicago Libs. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300101256
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 12.26 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents

Director's Foreword 6
Preface
Linda Merrill 7
Whistler in America 10
Venice, Whistler, and the American Others 32
Whistler and Philadelphia: A Question of Character 50
Rhetoric and Reputation in Whistler's Nocturnes 64
The Idol and His Apprentices: Whistler and the Academic Carmen of Paris 74
Whistler, America, and the Memorial Exhibition 86
Catalogue 97
Bibliography 256
Notes on Contributors 264
Lenders to the Exhibition 265
Index 266
Photo Credits 272
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