William Glackens

November 8, 2014–February 16, 2015

The first comprehensive survey of William Glackens in nearly half a century, this exhibition included nearly 90 major paintings and works on paper from some of America's finest private and public collections. Glackens’s influential career spanned five decades and this exhibition will show a new generation the breadth of his oeuvre, displaying key works from each decade of his career and revealing his enchanting zest for life, as well as his arsenal of sophisticated techniques. Several important canvases and works on paper were on public view for the first time.

The exhibition was highly selective, concentrating on the most pivotal, adventurous, accomplished, and distinctive works, including the magisterial At Mouquin’s (1905) and The Soda Fountain (1935). Several works in the Barnes collection were included in the exhibition. A joyous and pure painter, Glackens also served as an advocate for the development of avant-garde art in America through his participation in the landmark exhibitions of The Eight (1908), the Armory Show (1913), and the Society of Independent Artists (1917).

Albert C. Barnes and William Glackens attended Philadelphia’s prestigious Central High School together. When they renewed their friendship in 1911, Glackens encouraged Barnes’s appreciation of modern French painting. Glackens went to Paris in 1912 on a buying trip, sending back works by Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and others. The men remained close, and Barnes became his most important patron and acknowledged his friend’s importance to his collecting endeavors: “The most valuable single educational factor to me has been my frequent association with a life-long friend who combines greatness as an artist with a big man’s mind.” 

Curated by Avis Berman, independent writer and art historian.

Coordinating curator for the Barnes Foundation was Judith F. Dolkart, deputy director of art and archival collections and Gund Family Chief Curator.

Additional venues:
Nova Southeastern University’s Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, February 23–June 1, 2014
Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York, July 20–October 13, 2014


"William Glackens is among the most intriguing and underestimated participants in the first wave of 20th-century American modernism."   – the New York Times

“The first retrospective exhibition ever in the city that shaped him, educated him, inspired him, and often supported him with jobs, friendships and patrons.” – the Philadelphia Inquirer

“Brings together the exotic and the everyday.” – the Wall Street Journal

William Glackens was sponsored by

Wilmington Trust logo

with generous funding from the Sansom Foundation and
the William Penn Foundation.  

Support was also provided by Leigh and John Middleton,
Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund,
James J. and Frances M. Maguire,
The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation,
an anonymous donor, Laura and Bill Buck,
Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Spain,
Regina and Charles Cheever, Harriet and Bernie Gross,
Pheasant Hill Foundation, Adele and Harold Schaeffer,
Constance Smukler, The Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation,
and The Friends of Glackens.

William Glackens was organized and presented by
Nova Southeastern University’s Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale,
the Parrish Art Museum, and the Barnes Foundation,
with pan-institutional support from the Sansom Foundation,
the Henry Luce Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts,
Vontobel Swiss Wealth Advisors, and Christie’s.

The exhibition was supported by an indemnity from
the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.  



Image: William J. Glackens (American, 1870–1938). Cape Cod Pier, 1908. Oil on canvas, 26 x 32 inches (66 x 81.3 cm). Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University; Gift of an Anonymous Donor, 85.74