Arts Everyday Living: The Art of Grace and Beauty–Thomas Wilmer Dewing’s Ode to Women

Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Lady with a Mask, 1911, oil on canvas, Corcoran Collection (Museum purchase), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


Title: Lady with a Mask, 1911

Artist: Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938)


American master Thomas Wilmer Dewing is not officially categorized as belonging to the Boston School like William M. Paxton and Edmund Charles Tarbell (see: blogs April 4 and April 6, 2024), but his artistic development  was certainly formed by his experiences in the New England capital.  Here are some Fast Facts:

Born in 1851 in Newton Lower Falls, just outside of Boston. Studied painting at the Boston Art Club as well as the collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. After attending classes at the Academie Julian in France, Dewing returned to his native country in 1878 and taught at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. However, in 1880, Dewing settled  in New York City and taught at the Art Students League. For many years, the he spent spring and summer in Cornish, New Hampshire. Dewing’s wife was Maria Oakey (1845-1927) who was also a professional artist.

He was a  member of The Ten, along with Paxton, Tarbell as well as Childe Hassam, John H. Twachtman, and William Merritt Chase, among others.

Lady with a Mask reflects Dewing’s classic style, centering on the beauty and grace of a female model, defined by a delicate application of  brushstrokes as well as the use of subtle color. Notice, too, she is holding a mask, perhaps connected to the dramatic arts.

For more information on Thomas Wilmer Dewing, click on one of our earlier blogs.

Sources: the website of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and the website of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.




In the public domain, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The National Gallery of Art does not endorse or approve use of the above image or any of the material on this website. Nor has the National Gallery of Art participated in any projects utilizing the said image.

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