Works on Paper in American Art


Watercolor Painting in American Art



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Works on Paper in American Art and Watercolor Painting in American Art." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section.

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After "Articles and essays from Resource Library" are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches.

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Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:






From other websites:

American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent is a 2017 exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art which says: " Shaped by the genius of Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent, the watercolor movement tells a story about innovation, experimentation, and the creation of bold new ways of seeing the world." Accessed 4/17

Art of John Bowen is a 2015 exhibit at the Coral Springs Museum of Art which says: "Combining both opaque and transparent watercolors on heavy (300 lb.) Arches archival watercolor paper. John works patiently, using established principles to create the final piece."  Also see artist's website.  Accessed 10/18   

Carol Steinmetz: An Artist's Spectrum is a 2017 exhibit at the Muscatine Art Center which says: "Carol Boehl Steinmetz begins each watercolor painting with an open mind, putting colors on the paper and allowing them to move around 'wet in wet'. Steinmetz is continuously learning and challenging herself. She explains, 'I have always enjoyed creating -- sewing, knitting, crocheting, home decorating, and gardening. When I was introduced to painting, it became my challenge and pursuit. I wanted to try any and all of the art media from drawing and pastel to watercolor and oil.'" Also see 7/24/17 article in The Muscatine Journal. Accessed 9/17

Color and Shape: The Art of the American Theorem was a 2015 exhibit at Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, which says: "The most popular method of watercolor painting practiced in 19th-century America was known as "theorem work," or stencil painting on fabric, paper and light-colored wood; it was used to create decorative pictures and add ornamentation to household objects. Popular in England and Europe as early as 1805, the art form reached popularity in the United States in the 1820s and 1830s. It marked a time of new interest in painting and drawing as essential skills for genteel ladies as well as the temporary decline of needlework as a sign of ladies accomplishment." Also see a 3 min video. Accessed 11/16.

Encore Presentation of A Mine of Beauty: Landscapes by William Trost Richards is a 2017 exhibit at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts which says: "William Trost Richards (1833-1905) created a series of small-scale watercolors as tokens of his appreciation and friendship with fellow Philadelphian George Whitney (1819-1885), a collector and art patron who owned one of the city's most prized 19th-century art collections. Whitney's important collection was dispersed upon his death; however, Richards' watercolor gifts remained a treasured Whitney family possession for many years. They were eventually acquired by Mrs. Hamilton, who graciously gifted them to PAFA." Also see press release  Accessed 6/17

Journey: A Painter's Life - Karen Leigh was a 2016-7 exhibit at the Hockaday Museum of Art which says: "A glorious retrospective of the delicate and stunning transparent watercolors of Karen Leigh. Choosing subjects and materials that are traditional in nature and in application, Karen is always on the lookout for "accidental magnificence" and finding beauty in unexpected places." Accessed 1/17

Now and Then - Watercolors by Warren Taylor was a 2015 exhibit at Carr Education-Fine Arts Building, Angelo State University. "Many of my works have direct references to historical passages and great paintings of the past, couched in an abstract setting," Taylor said. "The intention is for the viewer to examine the work that is on the top and that which goes so deep as to be barely visible. To me, that reflects our response to time, to the past and to present realities." Also see Aug 21, 2015 Standard-Times article "Inspired by the masters" by Andrew Atterbury. Accessed 10/16

Steaming Ahead: Reginald Marsh Watercolors of Locomotives is a 2016 exhibit at the Benton Museum, U of CT, Storrs  which says: "This exhibition features over twenty-five watercolors and prints (lithographs and etchings) of locomotives, produced between 1927 and 1934, along with one from 1940, all from the permanent collection of the William Benton Museum of Art." Accessed 10/18  

Watercolor: An American Medium is a 2019 exhibit at the Chrysler Museum of Art which says: "A survey of the heights of the American watercolor movement from around 1870- to 1940 that reveals a deeper appreciation of watercolor's central place in the larger history of American art."   Accessed 4/19

Watercolors of Otto Heinigke - A Glass Artist's Palette, an exhibit held February 14, 2012 through October 20, 2013 at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. The museum says: "The drawings and watercolors in this exhibit extend from illustration to landscapes, genre scenes, and figurative images that demonstrate Heinigke's sensitivity to color, light, and nature. They also reveal a particular passion for figures and detail perhaps inherited from his miniaturist father. In any case, this suggests why in his windows, he favored the extensive painting of glass in direct opposition to Tiffany's complete commitment to the glass itself as a means of expression." Article includes a three-page object guide in .pdf format and a page of painting highlights. Accessed August, 2016.

William Trost Richards: Experiments in Watercolor is a 2018 exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art which says: "Featuring approximately twenty works, this exhibition focuses on the ways in which Richards employed colored and textured papers, explored various densities of application, and experimented with larger formats that approximated the scale and finish of his oil paintings." Also see William Trost Richards from Resource Library. Accessed 5/18 (Watercolors)

An October 2004 essay titled "Nineteenth-Century American Drawings" By Kevin J. Avery, The American Wing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art - from the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History section of The Metropolitan Museum of Art website. Accessed June 2016.



DVD/VHS videos:

-- not researched


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Adams, Henry and Margaret Stenz. American Drawings and Watercolors from the Kansas City Region. Kansas City: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 1992.

Clark, Carol. The Robert Lehman Collection VIII: American Drawings and Watercolors. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.

Ferber, Linda S. and Barbara Dayer Gallati. Masters of Color and Light: Homer, Sargent, and the American Watercolor Movement. Washington: Brooklyn Museum of Art in association with Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998.

Reed, Sue Welsh, Carol Troyen, Roy L. Perkinson, Annette Manick and Cynthia M. Purvis. Awash in Color: Homer, Sargent and the Great American Watercolor. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts in association with Bulfinch Press, Little, Brown, 1993.

Stebbins, Theodore E., John Caldwell and Carol Troyen. American Master Drawings and Watercolors: A History of Works on Paper from Colonial Times to the Present. New York: Harper & Row, 1976.

Strickler, Susan E., ed. American Traditions in Watercolor: the Worcester Art Museum Collection. Worcester: Worcester Art Museum; New York: Abbeville Press, 1987.

Terra Museum of American Art. Five American Masters of Watercolor: Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Maurice Prendergast, John Marin, Charles Burchfield: Catalogue for exhibition held May 5 -July 12, 1981 at Terra Museum of American Art

Weber, Bruce. Drawn from Tradition: American Drawings and Watercolors from the Susan and Herbert Adler Collection. New York: Hudson Hills Press in association with the Norton Gallery of Art, 1989.

Wilmerding, John and Kathleen A. Foster. American Art in the Princeton University Art Museum. Volume I: Drawings and Watercolors. Princeton: Princeton University Art Museum, 2004.


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