The Art of Thomas Wilmer Dewing: Beauty Reconfigured - Hardcover



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Released simultaneously in soft and hardcover, this hardcover edition is quite scarce.

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938) was "best known for paintings of elegant, long-lined women posed in dreamlike settings." This first full-length study includes over 150 color and black & white illustrations, detailed catalogue entries, an in-depth critical biography, and an analysis of the compositions. This 19th century painter is reminiscent of the best of Jeff Jones, Gorge Pratt, and Jon J. Muth.

From the Exhibition Press Release:

The first comprehensive exhibition of works by American artist Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938), who was especially admired for his enigmatic paintings of women in sparsely furnished interiors or in atmospheric landscapes, will be presented at The Brooklyn Museum March 22 through June 9, 1996. It will then travel to the National Museum of American Art, Washington, D. C. (July 19-October 24) and to the Detroit Institute of Arts (November 9, 1996-January 19, 1997).

Titled The Art of Thomas Wilmer Dewing: Beauty Reconfigured, it will include more than 70 works, among them oils, pastels, watercolors, and silverpoints, all of which were selected to provide the full range of his oeuvre. A portion of the mural frieze commissioned for the Baltimore home of Robert Garrett and an example of Dewing's decorative screens will also be displayed.

In addition to revealing Dewing's stylistic development--for example, his assimilation of French academic training, his early response to Pre-Raphaelite art and the Aesthetic Movement, his admiration for the art of Vermeer and Whistler, and his taste for Japanese art, the curators address the essential content of Dewing's art and why it stands apart from that of his contemporaries.

For nearly forty years Dewing enjoyed a distinguished reputation in the American arts. He was a member of the National Academy of Design and the Society of American Artists, until seceding from the latter as a founding member of “The Ten" in 1897. At the height of his career Thomas Wilmer Dewing's paintings were avidly collected by some of the most discerning and powerful art patrons in the United States, including Charles Lang Freer and John Gellatly.

Today his paintings are on view in major museums across the country and are also held in prominent private collections. His art is accorded its own room in the Smithsonian Institution's Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.

Although his mature work such as Lady in Gold is associated stylistically with tonalism, and sometimes with impressionism, his art defies classification. His imagery prompts a variety of interpretations about the meaning of the female figure in American visual culture at the turn of the century. The exhibition offers the first opportunity to assess Dewing's work in the context of American art history as the discipline has evolved over the last century.

A fully-illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition. A co-publication of The Brooklyn Museum and the Smithsonian Institution Press, the book includes a major essay by Dewing scholar Dr. Hobbs that provides the first in-depth biography of Dewing and history of his art. Dr. Gallati has written an essay that explores the ironies in Dewing's imagery that are critical to the understanding of the concept of beauty in his art. Susan Hobbs has also authored detailed entries for each object in the exhibition and a brief essay on the importance of the frames made especially for Dewing's paintings.


Thomas Wilmer Dewing
Susan A. Hobbs

Condition & Attributes

Fine in Near Fine dustjacket (light wear to the edges of the dustjacket)


Thomas Wilmer
Susan A.

Publishing Information

Washington, DC
Smithsonian Institute Press

Physical Description

11.25 inches
9.25 inches
xvi, 224 pages
over 150 color and black & white illustrations