American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent at Philadelphia Museum of Art, March 1 – May 14, 2017

“The Philadelphia Museum of Art will present the most comprehensive loan exhibition in over forty years devoted to the most important chapter in the history of watercolor painting in this country. American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent will bring together more than 170 works—many of them acknowledged masterpieces of this difficult, yet rewarding medium—drawn from public and private collections throughout the country. Tracing the development of the watercolor movement from its passionate embrace by a small, but dedicated group of painters in the1860s to the flowering of Modernism, this sweeping survey will examine the remarkable transformation of the medium that occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and is centered on the achievements of two of its most influential practitioners: Winslow Homer (1836-1910) and John Singer Sargent (1856-1925).” — Philadelphia Museum of Art


Big Springs in Yellowstone Park, 1872. Thomas Moran, American (born England), 1837-1926. Watercolor and opaque watercolor on paper, 9 1/4 × 19 1/4 inches. Private Collection.


Splash of Sunshine and Rain (Piazza San Marco, Venice), 1899. Maurice B. Prendergast, American, 1858-1924. Watercolor and graphite on paper, 19 3/8 × 14 1/4 inches. Private collection.


Diamond Shoal, 1905. Winslow Homer, American, 1836-1910. Watercolor and graphite on paper, Sheet: 14 × 21 7/8 inches. Private Collection.


Two Cats, 1912. Stuart Davis, American, 1892-1964. Watercolor over graphite on wove paper, Sheet: 10 3/4 x 14 3/4 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of Carl Zigrosser, 1953, 1953-64-2, © Estate of Stuart Davis. Licensed by VAGA, New York.


Muddy Alligators, 1917. John Singer Sargent, American (active London, Florence, and Paris), 1856-1925. Watercolor over graphite, with masking out and scraping, on wove paper, Sheet: 13 9/16 × 20 7/8 inches. Worcester Art Museum, Sustaining Membership Fund.

Edward Hopper, Haskell's House, American, 1882 - 1967, 1924, watercolor over graphite on paperboard, Gift of Herbert A. Goldstone

Edward Hopper, Haskell’s House, American, 1882-1967, 1924, watercolor over graphite on paperboard, Gift of Herbert A. Goldstone

Timothy Rub, the Museum’s George D. Widener Director and CEO, said: “This major gathering of exceptional watercolors tells an extraordinary American story in rich and compelling detail. The exhibition is also a rare event because these fragile works are light-sensitive, exhibited infrequently, and seldom lent. It will be seen only in Philadelphia, where visitors will experience one of the country’s great artistic legacies through brilliantly colored landscapes, still lifes and genre scenes, as well as illustrations and designs for ceramics and stained glass. There has never been such a comprehensive exhibition devoted to this subject, and we are exceptionally grateful to our lenders who have helped to make it possible.”

Images courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art.