Document Type


Date of Award



Painters, United States, Painting, American

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Art History

First Advisor

Kenneth C. Lindsay

Second Advisor

Roger B. Stein

Third Advisor

Stanley H. Ferber


In 1897 three artists, John Twachtman, Childe Hassam and Julian Alden Weir, decided to leave the established Society of American Artists in New York. This small group was to serve as a core of a larger organization later named the "Ten American Painters. "(Fig. 1). Wishing to hold independent exhibitions in New York several other painters were asked to join. These men included Edward Simmons, Willard Metcalf, Edmund Tarbell, Joseph DeCamp, Frank Benson, Thomas Dewing, Robert Reid and Abbott Thayer. Thayer first agreed to join but later changed his mind. The New York Times, however, was unaware of his decision and the first report concerning the newly formed group was entitled, "Eleven Painters Secede.” Although Winslow Homer was invited to join, by 1898 he had become something of a recluse and graciously refused the invitation.


Was the formation of the "Ten" a truly collective effort to propound certain artistic theories or was it a collection of ten individual painters who found it mutually beneficial to exhibit together? How were they similar or dissimilar both technically and thematically? To answer these questions and formulate a definition of the "Ten American Painters," the artists will be studied individually and as a group. The study begins with the early development of the ten members first in America, then in Europe and again in America. The investigation continues with a formalistic examination of works produced during the period of exhibitions, 1898-1917. Finally the artists are studied after the dissolution of the group.


This dissertations is bound in two volumes. Both volumes are combined in the pdf.