Friday, January 27, 2012

Black & White at Salmagundi Club





 I am thrilled to tell you that both these charcoal drawings were accepted into the historic Black & White Exhibit at Salmagundi Club, NYC.  Jan. 23- Feb. 10, 2012. Top right, Northern Marsh , lower right, Snow on Chittenden Hill .

Below is a bit of history about the Black & White Exhibits.

The early exhibitions were called “Black and White”, in reference to the important annual show that the young club held on drawings, graphics and grisaille oils. From 1878 to 1887, the club gained a national and even international reputation for these annual exhibitions, which were open to all artists, passing before a jury of club members. Such international artists as Sargent, Whistler and Eakins submitted entries as well as many prominent women artists. Without a permanent location, the exhibitions were first held at Leavitts Art Gallery on Broadway, moving to Kurtz’s Gallery (American Art Association) and then to the National Academy of Design. A critic for the New York Herald in 1879, reviewing this exhibition, gives praise to Winslow Homer who “sends a frame of very clever and effective outdoor studies in pencil on gray paper with the highlights in Chinese White. In another are grouped three decidedly impressionistic memoranda of scenes of Coney Island and an incisively drawn characterful sketch of a pretty, determined girl standing on the beach.” ~ Excerpt from Alexander W. Katlan’s book The Salmagundi Club Painting Exhibition Records 1889 to 1939: A Guide to the American Exhibition of Oil Paintings and the Annual Exhibition and Auction Sale of Pictures

For more fascinating history books about the Salmagundi Club check out Alexander Katlan Conservator, Inc's website

  • Click HERE to see drawings by John Singer Sargent
  • Click HERE to see a selection of James Abbot McNeill Whistler's etchings  and HERE for chalk drawings
  • Click HERE for a large collection of drawings by Thomas Eakins
  • Click HERE for drawings by Winslow Homer


I took this picture at the Salmagundi Club of John Francis Murphy's grisaille oil painting, A Bit of Lowland, which was exhibited in the first Black & White Show in 1878.

Drawing has such a long history, and is so fundamental to the creative process that I grow more inspired by drawing and looking at drawings with each passing year. Whether they are finished works of art in their own right or conceived as studies, preparatory sketches or simply the artist's doodles in a sketchbook, drawing more than anything else, captures the artists own unique mark making and documents their mind and thought process. If you really want to study an artist, study his drawings.

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