William James Glackens
William James Glackens was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on March 30th, 1870. He was the youngest of three children to Elizabether and Samuel Glackens, a clerk and cashier for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Glankens, whose nickname was “Butts” at Central High School, where he attended with future artists John Sloan and James Preston, showed an early proclivity for drawing. In 1891, Glackens enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He, Sloan, and a few other students formed the “Charcoal Club” particularly to practice nude figure drawing. In October 1894, he began working as a staff artist reporter for the Philadelphia Press with fellow artists Sloan, Edward Davis, George Luks, and Everett Shinn. Glacken moved to New York in 1896, took a job at the New York Herald, and began working as a magazine illustrator, producing more than 1,000 illustrations. In 1904, Glackens married artist Edith Dimock, a daughter of a wealthy family, who thus provided him enough financial security to focus on painting. They had two daughters, Ira and Lenna. Glackens trained and worked at the Art Students League,painting scenes of daily urban life. In 1907, unhappy with the lack of exhibition space within the National Academy of Design, Glackens, Henri, and six other artists decided to host an independent exhibition at the Macbeth Galleries in New York City. This was the start of the Ashcan School, so named for the urban themes painted in somber dark colors with pronounced gestural brushstrokes, such as Glackens’ The Shoppers. Glackens preferred lighter palettes and themes such as family outings, shoppers, and city parks such as The Horse Chestnut Tree, Washington Square. Heavily influenced by the glowing, color-saturated palettes of Manet, Matisse, Vuillard, Bonnard, and Renoir, Glackens moved beyond Ashcan realism to develop a late, Americanized version of Impressionism. Due to his ailing health in his later years, Glackens was mostly limited to still lifes. Glackens died of a cerebral hemorrhage on May 22nd, 1938.