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.

Museums: (27)


Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Boston Museum of Fine Art

Butler Institute of American Art

Cincinnati Art Museum

Corcoran Gallery of Art

Crocker Art Museum

De Young Museum

El Paso Museum of Art

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Museum of Art at Brigham Young University

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

National Academy of Design Museum

National Gallery of Art

National Portrait Gallery

Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Smith College Museum of Art

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Arkell Museum at Canajoharie

The University of Michigan Museum of Art

The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts

The White House

Whitney Museum of American Art

Worcester Museum of Art

Yale University Art Gallery


Books: (126) Listed in all Major Art Indices; Selections include:


Harvey, Eleanor Jones, An Impressionist Sensibility: The Halff Collection

Weinberg, H Barbara; S Larkin, American Impressionists Abroad And at Home

Kloss, William, A Nation's Pride, Art in the White House

Gerdts, William H, Pfeil Collection, Masterworks of American Impressionism

Hiesinger, Ulrich W. Impressionism in America, The Ten American Painters

Gerdts, William H, Ten American Painters

Danly, Susan Light, Air, and Color: American Impressionist Paintings from PAFA

Salinger, Margaretta, Masterpieces of American Painting, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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

Pierce, Patricia Jobe, The Ten

Eisler, Colin, American Drawings, Paul Magriel Collection

Perlman, Bennard B, The Immortal Eight, American Painting from Eakins to the Armory Show

Gerdts, William H* American Impressionism: The Henry Gallery

National Academy of Design. Artists by Themselves, Artists’ Portraits from the National Academy of Design



Periodicals: (18)


American Art Review, 2006 December, An Impressionist Sensibility: The Halff Collection

American Art Review, 2005 June, Paintings at Indianapolis Museum

American Art Review, 2004 October, Guild of Boston Artists: 90th Anniversary

American Art Review, 2004 August, The Henri Circle & the American Impressionist

American Artist, 2004 June, Quick Sketches, Editors, American Artist

American Arts Quarterly, 2003 August, Redeeming Boston: The Urban Landscape

American Art Review, 2002 December, The Terra Museum of American Art

American Artist, 2002 May, Recommended Books, Editors, American Artist

The Magazine Antiques, 2001 November, Family Pictures

American Art Review, 2001 October, The Paintings of Edmund C Tarbell

American Art Review, 2001 October, American Impressionists Abroad

American Art Review, 2000 February, Louis Comfort Tiffany's 1893 Chapel 

The Magazine Antiques, 1999 January, Museum Accessions

The Magazine Antiques, 1997 November, Worcester's Pioneering Painting

American Art Review, 1997 October, American Impressionism

American Art Review, 1996 December, American Works on Paper

American Art Review, 1996 August, Impressionism at Canajohari Library 

American Art Review, 1995 December, At Home With Art



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