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Julian Alden Weir
Date: American painter, printmaker, 1852–1919
Biography: Weir is best known for his American impressionist paintings. The son of painter Robert Weir, Julian Alden Weir was raised in West Point, New York, where his father worked as the art instructor for the Military Academy. Weir trained at the National Academy of Design in the 1870s before enrolling at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris in 1873, where he studied with Jean-Léon Gérôme and befriended Jules Bastien-Lepage. Weir worked in an academic style and found the paintings of the French Impressionists horrible at the time. He returned to New York in 1877 and joined the fledgling Society of American Artists. He painted portraits and taught at the Cooper Union and the Art Students League. In the 1880s he moved to a farm in rural Connecticut, bringing him closer to his friend John Twachtman. Like Twachtman, Weir began to experiment with impressionist methods. In 1898, Weir, Twachtman, and eight other artists united to form The Ten, a coterie of American impressionist painters who held annual exhibitions as a group.