New york water color club - society

DEFINITION

Founded in 1890 to promote the mediums of watercolors and pastels through Fall exhibitions and to raise the standards of entries in response to the American Watercolor Society whose exhibition criteria including jury selection were regarded as lax. It was an era before the opening of many commercial art galleries, so annual exhibitions were important to promoting artwork. The first meeting was held March 26, 1890. Founders of NYWCC included Childe Hassam, the first President; Charles Warren Eaton, Treasurer; Rhoda Holmes Nicholls, Vice President; and Henry Bayley Snell. Others who joined shortly after the initial group were John Twachtman, Walter Launt Palmer, Winslow Homer, Maurice Prendergast, and Irving Ramsey Wiles. The first exhibition, which received positive reviews, was held at the American Galleries and had about 400 entries. Many of the top artists of the day were represented including Arthur Davies, Bruce Crane and Alexander Wyant. In the first decade of the 20th Century, the NYWCC represented many artists who were leaders in the Tonalist movement such as Eaton and Wyant. ???The New York Times??? exhibition review of November 11, 1895 encouraged the Tonalist approach by expressing relief that many of the paintings were not Impressionist with ???crazy, impossible landscapes, with wiggly trees, houses all askew, and violent crude color??? but instead had ???quiet, refined, intelligent striving after nature, and a general pleasant harmony of color.??? The NYWCC also did much to promote women artists through club leadership positions and exhibition space. Of the original membership, half were women, which was a contrast with the American Watercolor Society in 1906 when ???The New York Times??? had a note that only two of its ninety-nine members were women. Another accomplishment of the NYWCC was successful promotion of pastel painting during the early 20th Century. In 1941, with many differences resolved, The New York Watercolor Club merged with the American Watercolor Society. Source: David A. Cleveland, ???The New York Water Color Club???, ???The Magazine Antiques???, November 2005, pp. 116-121.

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