Wilmerding collection


Fifty one paintings donated to the National Gallery of Art in May 2004 by John Wilmerding, a Senior Curator and Deputy Director of the Gallery beginning 1977. Leaving that position, Wilmerding donated the works from his personal collection of 19th-Century artists. Some of them were especially critical in filling out the National Gallery Collection by providing its first painting by George Caleb Bingham, the first oil from Winslow Homer's Cullercoats period, the first marsh scene by Martin Heade, and first drawings by Ralph Blakelock and Fitz Hugh Lane. Wilmerding's interest in art derived from his family who were ardent collectors and was reinforced by his art education at Harvard University. His first acquisition was a Gloucester scene by Fitz Hugh Lane, and this work set the standard for following purchases. His second painting was Bingham's "Mississippi Boatman", acquired from Vose Galleries in Boston. The sixteen artists represented in the collection are George Bingham, Ralph Blakelock, Alfred Bricher, Frederic Church, Adelheid Dietrich, Thomas Eakins, Alvan Fisher, William Haseltine, Martin Heade, Winslow Homer, John Kensett, Fitz Hugh Lane, Jervis McEntee, John Peto and Edward Seager. Source: Nancy Anderson, 'The John Wilmerding Collection', "Magazine Antiques", September 2004.