By the Sea, By the Sea: Waterscapes and Beach Scenes By William J. Glackens and the Ashcan School
On view through March 3, 2024
presents By the Sea, By the Sea: Waterscapes and Beach Scenes by William J. Glackens and the Ashcan School. The exhibition draws from the Museum’s vast collection of masterful seascapes by William J. Glackens, which is the largest collection in the world of artworks and archival materials related to Glackens, and members of the artist’s milieu, created in the late 19th and early 20th century. These paintings, photographs, prints and sketches portray unfettered, modern visions of leisure and labor by the waterfront.
This exhibition will showcase a selection of the Sansom Foundation’s major donation of hundreds of archival materials to the Museum. This archive includes never-before seen family photographs, along with en plein air sketches which the artist used as reference images to compose his paintings. These ephemeral records provide viewerswith insight into Glackens’ surroundings and frame of mind as he captured the rapidly changing world around him..
William Glackens (b. 1870, Philadelphia, PA; d. 1938, Westport, CT) was an original member of the turn-of-the-century artists’ group, The Ashcan School, alongside contemporaries including Robert Henri (1965-1929), George Luks (1866-1933), Everett Shinn (1976-1953) and John Sloan (1871-1951). Born in Philadelphia, Glackens attended Central High School along with Sloan and the collector Albert C. Barnes. In 1891 he began a career as an artist-reporter for various Philadelphia newspapers and in the evenings, attended classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1898 he accompanied the U.S. Army to Cuba to record the Spanish-American War for McClure’s magazine. In 1904, he would give up illustration in order to fully devote himself to painting. Glackens lived for some time in France, where he became influenced by the work of Impressionist artists such as Renoir, Matisse and Cézanne. Nevertheless, he continued his involvement in the New York art world and his friendship with other artists associated with The Ashcan School until his death in 1938.
This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Sansom Foundation.