Women in Painting by Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938)
"Some hundreds of years hence the historian of our time may be puzzled by Mr. Dewing's treatment of our life, and wonder if the ladies of the day usually sat in such bare rooms or wore low-cut dresses in the daytime; but what does it matter? It is a fantasy, but what a delicate one!" (Kenyon Cox (1856-1919) American Painter)
"In some of his methods Dewing is a modernist, yet in his choice of models and point of view he stands alone, combining the romantic and classic tradition with up-to-date technique. In his work aristocracy of feeling and modernity are married," the critic Catherine Beach Ely wrote in 1922.
Dewing's women "...are not the restless women of today-aggressive efficiency is far from them; they can do nothing and do it beautifully..".
Born in Boston, Dewing studied at the Academie Julian in Paris in 1876-77 with the financial help of his brother Charles. Upon his return to Boston he taught at the school of the Museum of Fine Arts. In 1880, the artist moved to New York, where he lived more than 50 years. He married Maria Richards Oakey, a portrait and still life painter. Dewing made acquaintance with the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and the poet Emma Lazarus, he was a close friend of the architect Stanford White, who helped him sell his first tonalist painting, "The Days". With other fellow artists, he often spent summer in Cornish, New Hampshire.
By 1890 Dewing had met his greatest patron, Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919) of Detroit, and with his financial assistance he took his wife and daughter, Elizabeth, abroad in October 1894. They lived in London, where Dewing worked periodically with James McNeill Whistler,
Dewing moved to Paris in April 1895, and for a few months he divided his time between Paris and Giverny.
He returned to America in July 1895 and opened a studio in New York and taught at the Art Student's League.
In 1888 he was elected full member of the National Academy of Design and in 1901 was awarded a gold medal at the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition.