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William Glackens


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(b Philadelphia, 13 Mar. 1870; d Westport, Conn., 22 May 1938).

American painter and draughtsman. His early career was spent mainly as a newspaper illustrator in his native Philadelphia, but he was encouraged to take up painting by Robert Henri, whom he met in 1891. In 1896 he settled in New York and in 1908 he was one of the group of painters who exhibited together as The Eight. He is considered one of the central figures of the Ashcan School, but he was less concerned with Social Realism than with representing the life of the people as a colourful spectacle, and he was heavily influenced by the Impressionists. By the time of the Armory Show (1913), which he helped to organize, Glackens was painting in a style reminiscent of the early Renoir. From 1912 he was employed as art consultant by Dr Albert C. Barnes and toured Europe buying paintings that formed the nucleus of the celebrated Barnes Foundation at Merion, Pennsylvania. In 1917 he was elected first president of the Society of Independent Artists.

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