William Glackens, c.1908 by Gertrude Käsebier. Delaware Art Museum
William Glackens
Date: American painter, 1870–1938
School: Ashcan School
Biography: Born in Philadelphia, William Glackens attended Central High School with John Sloan and Albert C. Barnes. After graduation Glackens went to work as a newspaper illustrator and attended evening classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He befriended Sloan, Everett Shinn, George Luks, and Robert Henri, traveling with Henri to Paris in 1895. When he returned he settled in New York and worked as a magazine and book illustrator. In 1898, McClure's magazine sent him to cover the Spanish-American War in Cuba, but because the war was so short-lived, few of his images were published. Returning to New York, he illustrated for major magazines and painted images of city life, especially leisure subjects, and beach scenes. With his friends from Philadelphia, Glackens participated in the groundbreaking exhibition of the Eight at Macbeth Gallery in 1908. Glackens regularly traveled to Europe, and in 1912 he began to assist his friend Albert Barnes in assembling his collection of European modern art, including masterpieces by Cezanne, Matisse, and Renoir. He served on the committee to select American art for the 1913 Armory Show and served as the first president of the Society of Independent Artists in 1917. Glackens later paintings display a brighter palette and reflect the influence of Renoir.