William Glackens (1870 – 1938)

At Mouquin's, 1905

William James Glackens was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1870.  He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and became an artist-reporter for Philadelphia newspapers. In this position, Glackens would respond to breaking news scenes and draw what was occurring.  These drawing would then be published in the paper with the news story.

At the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Glackens studied under Robert Henri and the two became good friends.  In 1895, Glackens and Henri made their way to Europe on a cattle boat and studied in Holland and Paris. In 1896, they returned to the United States and settled in New York City.  Glackens again began working for newspapers as an artist-reporter.  In 1898, McClure’s Magazine sent him to Cuba to cover the Spanish-American War.

While in New York, Glackens and Henri befriended several other artists who were tired of the National Academy of Arts rejecting their artworks for exhibition.  The group, consisting of Glackens, Henri, Arthur B. Davies, Maurice Prendergast, Ernest Lawson, Everett Shinn, John French Sloan and George Luks held their own exhibition highlighting their artworks, which was extremely well-received and was sent on a traveling tour.  The group of artists became known as the The Eight, or the Ashcan Group.

Young Woman in Green, 1915

Glackens was a realist painter and primarily painted street scenes and snapshots of daily life. In 1904, he married Edith Dimock who was from Hartford and was also an artist. 

By 1910, Glackens had established a name for himself in the art world and was often compared to Renoir.  He was approached by high school classmate Albert C. Barnes to assist him with establishing an art collection.  This collection was the basis for the Barnes Foundation. 

For the next nearly three decades, Glackens continued to paint, manage exhibitions and travel to Europe.  He died unexpectedly on May 22, 1938.

References:
Answers.com. William Glackens. Accessed at
http://www.answers.com/topic/glackens-william-james on August 25, 2010.
Creative Lenna. William James Glackens, 1870 – 1938. Accessed at
http://www.creativelenna.com/artistinfo/WilliamGlackens/WilliamGlackens.htm on August 25, 2010.
Wikipedia. William Glackens.  Accessed at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Glackens on August 25, 2010.

Photo Credit: At Mouquin’s (1905), oil on canvas. Collection: Art Institute of Chicago, Public Domain; Young Woman in Green (1915), oil on canvas, Saint Louis Art Museum , Saint Louis, Missouri, Public Domain