About

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Wilhelmina Weber Furlong 1878-1962

St. Louis, Missouri
Was a German American artist and teacher. Among America’s earliest avant-garde elite modernist painters Weber Furlong was a major American artist who pioneered modern impressionistic and modern expressionistic still life painting at the turn of the twentieth century’s American modernist movement. She has been called the first female modernist painter in the early American Modernism scene, and she represents the struggles of many women artists in the late 1800s and early 1900’s as they became subjugated to the many realists who opposed the modernist movement and serious women artists. [2] Beginning in 1892 her teachers included Emil Carlsen, William Merritt Chase, and Edmund H. Wuerpel with significant time in Paris from 1898 to 1906. She was present at the Salon d’Automne or Autumn Salon for three years and she knew Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, and others who exhibited at the Paris Salon. [2]

In the American modernism movement she painted between 1892 and 1962 where she thrived during the modernist movement in St. Louis, New York, and Paris from 1897 to 1906. She painted in Mexico City from 1906 to 1913 and again in New York City from 1913 to 1950. It was in New York, that she helped to set the stage for the climax of the American modern art movement. [2] Her popular  Manhattan, New York City studio and art gallery which exhibited her work was described by the New York Tribune as “Futurist” on May 10, 1914 she is also pictured among her many works. [1]

She also painted at Lake George in Bolton Landing, New York from 1921 to 1962 at her Modern Art Colony, Golden Heart Farm and simultaneously in Glens Falls, New York from 1952 to 1962. She had many friends and students in Glens Falls, among them were Charlotte Hyde who founded the Hyde Collection Museum which displays the work of Wilhelmina Weber Furlong. [2]In America her significant circle of friends included, John Graham,Wilem de Kooning, David Smith, Dorothy Dehner, Edward Hopper, Alexander Calder, Rockwell and Sally Kent, Thomas Hart Benton, Jean Charlot, Allen Tucker, Max Weber, Kimon Nicolaidies,  Ernest Lawson, and many others. [2]

As a student, she was associated with the Art Students league as a young woman in 1892 and in 1913 began a serious role in the New York art scene and at the Art Students League as a Secretary Treasurer and member of the Board of Control along with her husband, the artist Thomas Furlong. She taught art for over 56 years in New York and she was active with the Whitney Studio Club during the formative years of the organization in New York. Weber Furlong coordinated events for the Art Students league and the Whitney Studio Club and she taught in Manhattan and on Lake George, Where she influenced David Smith, John Graham and Dorothy Dehner. With her new and brilliant colors and style she was able to influence the American expressionists from her 1913 studio and galleries throughout the American Modernist Movement. [2,3,4,5,6]  

In the city of Glens Falls, New York from 1920-1962 Wilhelmina Weber Furlongs’ close association in Bolton landing, New York with the artist and sculptor David Smith has had lasting influence on the hamlet to this very day. [4] Weber Furlong is also known to be responsible for bringing David Smith to the farm he purchased there with his wife sculptor and painter Dorothy Dehner both of which were her devoted students and friends. The beloved Golden Heart Farm was a mecca for important artists from New York City from 1921 to 1959. [4]

The artist John Graham also came to live in Bolton Landing, through his friendship with Wilhelmina Weber where she located a Lake George farm for the artist. Before his departure from modernism and America Graham painted “Portrait of Wilhelmina” at Golden Heart Farm as a sign of his appreciation of the avant-garde teacher and artist. After his divorce Weber convinced Graham to spend time in Mexico. His farm was eventually sold to Francis Herman. Weber Furlong was a key figure in the life of John Graham throughout much of his career. Bringing artists to the forefront of the Modern Art movement and supporting them in their work was her life’s ambition.  [2]
The Bolton Historical Society Museum in Bolton Landing, New York, the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York, and the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, New York permanently displays the works of Wilhelmina Weber Furlong. Drop in this summer to see her work! Permanent works are also on exhibit at Fort D.A. Russell National Historic site in Marfa, Texas Building 98 Studio galleries Clint Weber Chief Curator.

Notes

  1.  Special Thanks to the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, New York for discovering this significant New York Tribune article in the spring of 2012.
  2. The Treasured Collection of Golden Heart Farm Clint Weber (ISBN: 978-0-9851601-0-4)
  3. Foreword to The Treasured Collection of Golden Heart Farm Professor Emeritus James K. Kettlewell (ISBN: 978-0-9851601-0-4)
  4. Bolton Historical Society Museum
  5. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
  6. Alfred H. Barr Archives MOMA Manhattan, New York
  7. Whitney Studio Club Archives Whitney Museum of American Art Manhattan, New York  Whitney Museum Archives Miss Wilhelmine Weber