House of Glackens invites viewers into the domestic and creative spheres of the William J. Glackens’ family, a tight-knit brood made up of patriarch William (1870-1938), mother Edith Dimock (1876-1955), son Ira (1907-1990) and daughter Lenna (1913-1943).
This exhibition primarily focuses on William Glackens’ tender portrayals of his own family in their private home. Glackens’ wife and children were among the artist’s favorite subjects, leading to their appearance in key works such as Artist’s Daughter in Chinese Costume (1918) and Breakfast Porch (1925).
These intimate depictions also make their way into Glackens’ interpretation of the timeless theme of filial devotion. While these paintings of mother and child are unequivocally personal portraits, their universal subject matter provides viewers with a sense of empathy towards these unknown subjects. In choosing to have his family be the actors in his scenes, Glackens’ indicates an openness to making his private life public, and allowing his family to be part of the grand narrative of his career.
Alongside this presentation of works by the family’s best-known member are manuscripts, published writings and paintings by Edith, Ira and Lenna. These works make clear that creative pursuits permeated throughout the Glackens domain, and that while the patriarch absorbed the public’s focus, when at home, he was a gifted painter among many.
Overall, this exhibition serves as a cursory glance into a rich family history, that through the donation of over 1,900 objects to the collection from the Sansom Foundation, the Museum continues to unveil and make new discoveries.
This exhibition is curated by the Museum’s Bryant-Taylor Curator, Ariella Wolens.
Image: William J. Glackens, Portrait of Edith, Ira and Lenna in the Living Room (unfinished), 1920. NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale; bequest of Ira D. Glackens
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Major support for NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is provided by the David and Francie Horvitz Family Foundation Endowment, the City of Fort Lauderdale, Wege Foundation, Community Foundation of Broward, Lillian S. Wells Foundation, the Broward County Cultural Division, the Cultural Council, and the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts.