|Death Date: May 22, 1938
|William J. Glackens in considered one of the more influential artists in the history of American art. He was a leading member of “The Eight”, an active participant in the Society of Independent Artists and in 1913, a key individual in organizing the Armory Show.
Glackens began his career as a newspaper and magazine illustrator. Despite his marrying into wealth (Edith Dimock in 1904) he continued illustrating articles, usually about the urban working class, into the teens. His sensitivity to this type of theme brought him into close sympathy with the Ashcan artists Robert Henri, Everett Shinn, John Sloan and George Luks.
In 1912 Glackens and Alfred Maurer for a three week shopping spree went to Paris and began to purchase works for Dr. Albert C. Barnes; who developed one of the great private collections of the time.
During his lifetime and beyond it, William Glackens has enjoyed the admiration and praise of his peers. Every major museum in the United States, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to the Chicago Art Institute owns at least one of his canvases. Furthermore, no serious survey on either Realism or Impressionism in America is mounted without including Glackens.
He believed that the artist must be free to paint as he pleases. Most importantly, the art he created is a reflection of his life, his tastes and his artistic concerns. He found his subject matter on the street, in the park or by a body of water. To him, painting was not a craft but a passion.