American (Boston) 1862-1938




Pencil on Paper; Signed lower left

Housed in a fine carved wood and gilt frame

Bearing a "Foster Brothers, Boston" label


Museums: 27 including The Metropolitan, White House, Boston Museum, Los Angeles County Museum

Books: 146, including Edmund C. Tarbell and the Boston School of Painting (1889-1980), Patricia Jobe Pierce

Periodicals: 18


Image Size:  11-3/4" x 7-3/4







Frame Label Verso






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TARBELL, Edmund Charles (1862-1938)


Birth place: West Groton, MA


Addresses: Boston, 1889-90; Dorchester, MA, 1891; Boston, 1893-1913, Washington, DC, 1917-22; Boston/New Castle, NH


Profession: Painter, teacher


Studied: apprenticed to a lithographer at age 15; Boston Normal Art School; Boston Museum of Fine Art School, with O. Grundmann,

1879; Académie Julian, Paris with Boulanger and Lefebvre, 1884-86; W.T. Dannat in Paris, c.1886-88.


Exhibited: Paris Salon, 1886; Boston Art Club, 1887-1909; National Academy of Design (prizes, 1890, 1894; medals, 1908, 1929);

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art Annual, 1892-1913, 1920-38 (gold 1895 & 1911); St. Botolph Club, Boston (including 1898 solo);

World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893; Art Club of Philadelphia, 1895 (gold); Society of American Artists, 1893 (prize);

Tennessee Expo, Nashville, 1897 (prize); with Ten American Painters, 1898-1919; Worcester Museum of Art, 1900 (prize), 1904 (prize);

Boston Charitable Mechanics' Assn. (med.); Paris Expo, 1900 (med.); Carnegie Institute, 1901 (prize), 1904 (prize), 1909 (prize),

1928-29 (prize); Art Institute of Chicago, 1907 (prize); Corcoran Gallery biennials, 1907-37 (14 times; including gold medal, 1910);

Pan-Pacific Expo, San Fran., 1915 (prize); Newport Art Association, 1935 (prize);

memorial exhibition, Boston Museum of Fine Art, 1938.


Member: Associate National Academy, 1904, National Academy, 1906; Boston Guild of Artists; Ten American Painters;

U.S. Public Art League, 1896; National Arts Committee, Wash., DC


Work: Corcoran Gallery of Art; Cincinnati Art Museum; Rhode Island School of Design; Boston Museum of Fine Art; Worcester

Museum of Art; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art Annual; Wilstach College, Philadelphia; New Mexico Art Association; Metropolitan

Museum of Art; Canajoharie (NY) Library and Art Gallery; Fine Arts Academy, Buffalo; NPG National Portrait Gallery, Washington,

DC; War Dept., Washington, DC; Butler Art Institute; Massachusetts Senate Chamber, State House, Boston; Smith College


Comments: Tarbell began formal art studies with Grundmann at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, where he met and became friends

with Frank Benson.  Tarbell was considered the leader of the Boston Impressionists, and his numerous devout students were called

"Tarbellites." His Impressionist works were primarily built around figures of women, shown in brilliantly, colorful outdoor scenes. Around

1900 he began focusing on interior scenes, usually showing young women reading, sewing, or in conversation; these, in the handling of light

and color recall Vermeer. Tarbell insisted on the importance of technique and his well-crafted portraits came into high demand in

Washington, DC, where he painted Presidents Wilson and Hoover, among others (in 1919 he was chosen by the National

Committee to create a pictorial record of Allied leaders of WWI).

Teaching: BMFA Boston Museum of Fine Art School (1889-1912), Corcoran School Art (1917-22).


Sources: WW38; Baigell, Dictionary; 300 Years of American Art, 570;

Gerdts, American Impressionism, 114-18, 201-03, 315 (note 14);

Patricia Jobe Pierce, Edmund C. Tarbell and the Boston School of Painting 1889-1980 (Hingham, Mass., 1980);

Falk, Exh. Record Series.


 This biography is drawn from the 'Who Was Who in American Art' , the reference book on the cultural life in the United States.



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