William Glackens


William James Glackens (1870-1938) was an American realist painter and one of the founders of the Ashcan School of American art. He is also known for his work in helping Albert C. Barnes to acquire the European paintings that form the nucleus of the famed Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. His dark-hued, vibrantly painted street scenes and depictions of daily life in pre-WW I New York and Paris first established his reputation as a major artist. His later work was brighter in tone and showed the strong influence of Renoir. During much of his career as a painter, Glackens also worked as an illustrator for newspapers and magazines in Philadelphia and New York City. In New York, Glackens became associated with a group of artists known today as The Eight, five of whom (Robert Henri, John Sloan, George Luks, and Everett Shinn as well as Glackens) are considered Ashcan realists. By 1910, Glackens began to concentrate on a ''highly personal coloristic style'' which represented a break from the Ashcan approach to art. It was, his biographer William Gerdts wrote, ''his conversion to mainstream Impressionism.''  His work was often compared to that of Renoir, to the point that he was called ''the American Renoir.''

Millionaire-inventor Albert C. Barnes, a classmate and friend from Central High School, began to study and collect modern art. He commissioned Glackens to buy him some ''advanced'' works while on a trip to Paris. These twenty paintings, which included works by Cézanne, Renoir, Manet, and Matisse, formed the core of what became the Barnes Foundation Collection. Glackens also advised Barnes on later art movements and purchases.

July - September 2015
Heather James Fine Art - Jackson, WY
November 29, 2014 - May 30, 2015
Heather James Fine Art - Palm Desert
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