Works on Paper in American Art


Watercolor Painting in American Art



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Works on Paper in American Art and Watercolor Painting in American Art." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to these articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the Resource Library publication date.

Following the listing of Resource Library articles and essays is the heading "TFAO references." The count of pages in the TFAO website citing relevant keywords is an indicator of our breadth of coverage for this topic. We recommend that readers search within the TFAO website to find detailed information for any topic. Please see our page How to research topics not listed for more information.

After "TFAO references" are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches.

Following online resources is information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles.

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Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:


Moving Toward the Light (7/14/16)

Lowell Ellsworth Smith: My Theology of Painting (6/27/16)

Drip, Splatter, Wash: American Watercolor, 1860-1960 (6//7/16)

The Nature of William S. Rice: Arts and Crafts Painter and Printmaker (11/13/15)

Sprawl! Drawing Outside the Lines (7/6/15)

William Beckman: Drawings, 1967-2013 (6/23/14)

Fine Lines: American Drawings from the Brooklyn Museum (3/10/14)

Tony Foster - Sacred Places, Watercolour Diaries from the American Southwest (4/11/13)

Artists' Books: Books by Artists (2/26/12)

John Marin's Watercolors: A Medium for Modernism (2/8/11)

Native American Ledger Drawings from the Hood Museum of Art: The Mark Lansburgh Collection (11/12/10)

Let There Be Light: Stained Glass and Drawings from the Collection of Oakbrook Esser Studios (10/9/10)

Karl Bodmer's Western Wildlife: Original Sketches from the Joslyn Art Museum (8/2/10)

Life Lines: The Drawings of Charles Steffen (727/10)

William Trost Richards - True to Nature: Drawings, Watercolors, and Oil Sketches at Stanford University (7/15/10)

Painting World War II: The California Style Watercolor Artists; essay by Glen Knowles (6/16/10)

Painting World War II: The California Style Watercolor Artists (6/16/10)

The Great American Watercolor (5/15/10)

A Medium for the Masses and Masters Alike; brochure essay by Alexander J. Noelle for the exhibition The Great American Watercolor (5/15/10)



The Eight and American Modernisms (3/17/09)

Waterworks: 150 Years of Watercolor; article by Martha R. Severens (3/4/09)

From Winslow Homer to Edward Hopper: American Watercolor Masterpieces from the Brooklyn Museum (2/20/08)

George Luks: The Watercolors Rediscovered; essay by Judith Hansen O'Toole (11/24/08)

David Park's Works on Paper; essay by Lance Esplund (11/6/08)

Taking the Road Not Taken: American Works on Paper from a Private Collection; essay by Charles Price (7/23/08)

Works on Paper by African-American Artists (1/30/07)

Brushed with Light: Masters of American Watercolor from the Brooklyn Museum (4/27/07)

American Watercolors and Pastels, 1875-1950, at the Fogg Art Museum; essay by Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. (4/10/06)

American Watercolors and Pastels, 1875-1950, at the Fogg Art Museum (3/3/06)

Fragile Florida: Watercolor Paintings by Taylor Ikin (7/11/05)

Beautiful Resistance: Works on Paper from the Heard Museum Collection (3/29/05)



Andrew Wyeth: Early Watercolors (9/27/04)

African American Works on Paper from the Cochran Collection (3/15/04)

Graphic Masters: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum (1/9/04)

In a Clear Light: The Triumph of Ohio Watercolor Painters, 1880 to 1967 (6/4/03)

Midwest Watercolor Society 27th Annual Transparent Watercolor Exhibition (5/22/03)

Ira Moskowitz: Works on Paper, essay by Robin West (11/13/02)

Dong Kingman: Watercolor Master (11/1/02)

Masters of the American Watercolor and South Carolina Watercolor Society 25th Annual Exhibition (6/18/02)

Hubert Shuptrine; essay by Martha R. Severens (1/28/02)

The California Water Color Society: Genesis of an American Style, essay by Janet Blake Dominik (9/4/01)

California Watercolor Painters in Context, essay by Donelson Hoopes (8/30/01)

Prints of American Life: WPA Works on Paper from the Webster Collection (8/23/01)

Winslow Homer Watercolors at Canajoharie Library and Art Gallery (2/24/01)

Watercolor and the Landscape: Selections From the Permanent Collection (1/11/01)



American Twentieth-Century Watercolors from the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute (12/13/00)

Henry Casselli: Master of the American Watercolor (11/16/00)

The Gist of Drawings: Works on Paper by John Sloan (11/3/00)

Watercolors by Jack R. Brouwer and Mark Mehaffey (9/9/00)

Zhe-zhou Jiang, Chinese Ink and Watercolor Paintings (8/28/00)

Northwest Watercolor Society Celebrates Sixty Years: A Retrospective Exhibition in Seattle (4/13/00)

Miriam Schapiro: Work on Paper - A 30-Year Retrospective (2/27/00)

Farnsworth Art Museum Acquires Winslow Homer Watercolor, "Seven Boys in a Dory" (1/25/00)

Edward Hopper: The Watercolors (8/6/99)

Thomas William Jones: Three Decades of Watercolor (6/10/99)

1999 Wisconsin Watercolor Society Exhibition (6/7/99)

A Brush With Light: Watercolor Painters of Northeast Ohio at Riffe Gallery (5/13/99)

Edward Gorey: Works on Paper (3/15/99)

Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper (1/4/98)

Masters of Color and Light: Homer, Sargent, and the American Watercolor Movement (11/26/97)


TFAO references:

As of 12/5/13 TFAO Digital Library contained 629 pages referencing the phrase "Works on Paper," about 1,590 pages referencing the word "Watercolor."and about 1,150 pages referencing the word "Watercolors."


From other websites:

American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent is a 2017 exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art which says: " Shaped by the genius of Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent, the watercolor movement tells a story about innovation, experimentation, and the creation of bold new ways of seeing the world." Accessed 4/17

Carol Steinmetz: An Artist's Spectrum is a 2017 exhibit at the Muscatine Art Center which says: "Carol Boehl Steinmetz begins each watercolor painting with an open mind, putting colors on the paper and allowing them to move around 'wet in wet'. Steinmetz is continuously learning and challenging herself. She explains, 'I have always enjoyed creating -- sewing, knitting, crocheting, home decorating, and gardening. When I was introduced to painting, it became my challenge and pursuit. I wanted to try any and all of the art media from drawing and pastel to watercolor and oil.'" Also see 7/24/17 article in The Muscatine Journal. Accessed 9/17

Color and Shape: The Art of the American Theorem was a 2015 exhibit at Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, which says: "The most popular method of watercolor painting practiced in 19th-century America was known as "theorem work," or stencil painting on fabric, paper and light-colored wood; it was used to create decorative pictures and add ornamentation to household objects. Popular in England and Europe as early as 1805, the art form reached popularity in the United States in the 1820s and 1830s. It marked a time of new interest in painting and drawing as essential skills for genteel ladies as well as the temporary decline of needlework as a sign of ladies accomplishment." Also see a 3 min video. Accessed 11/16.

Encore Presentation of A Mine of Beauty: Landscapes by William Trost Richards is a 2017 exhibit at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts which says: "William Trost Richards (1833-1905) created a series of small-scale watercolors as tokens of his appreciation and friendship with fellow Philadelphian George Whitney (1819-1885), a collector and art patron who owned one of the city's most prized 19th-century art collections. Whitney's important collection was dispersed upon his death; however, Richards' watercolor gifts remained a treasured Whitney family possession for many years. They were eventually acquired by Mrs. Hamilton, who graciously gifted them to PAFA." Also see press release  Accessed 6/17

Journey: A Painter's Life - Karen Leigh was a 2016-7 exhibit at the Hockaday Museum of Art which says: "A glorious retrospective of the delicate and stunning transparent watercolors of Karen Leigh. Choosing subjects and materials that are traditional in nature and in application, Karen is always on the lookout for "accidental magnificence" and finding beauty in unexpected places." Accessed 1/17

Now and Then - Watercolors by Warren Taylor was a 2015 exhibit at Carr Education-Fine Arts Building, Angelo State University. "Many of my works have direct references to historical passages and great paintings of the past, couched in an abstract setting," Taylor said. "The intention is for the viewer to examine the work that is on the top and that which goes so deep as to be barely visible. To me, that reflects our response to time, to the past and to present realities." Also see Aug 21, 2015 Standard-Times article "Inspired by the masters" by Andrew Atterbury. Accessed 10/16

Watercolors of Otto Heinigke - A Glass Artist's Palette, an exhibit held February 14, 2012 through October 20, 2013 at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. The museum says: "The drawings and watercolors in this exhibit extend from illustration to landscapes, genre scenes, and figurative images that demonstrate Heinigke's sensitivity to color, light, and nature. They also reveal a particular passion for figures and detail perhaps inherited from his miniaturist father. In any case, this suggests why in his windows, he favored the extensive painting of glass in direct opposition to Tiffany's complete commitment to the glass itself as a means of expression." Article includes a three-page object guide in .pdf format and a page of painting highlights. Accessed August, 2016.

William Trost Richards: Experiments in Watercolor is a 2018 exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art which says: "Featuring approximately twenty works, this exhibition focuses on the ways in which Richards employed colored and textured papers, explored various densities of application, and experimented with larger formats that approximated the scale and finish of his oil paintings." Also see William Trost Richards from Resource Library. Accessed 5/18 (Watercolors)

An October 2004 essay titled "Nineteenth-Century American Drawings" By Kevin J. Avery, The American Wing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art - from the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History section of The Metropolitan Museum of Art website. Accessed June 2016.



DVD/VHS videos:

-- not researched


TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos. Click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in TFAO's Videos -DVD/VHS, an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format



Adams, Henry and Margaret Stenz. American Drawings and Watercolors from the Kansas City Region. Kansas City: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 1992.

Clark, Carol. The Robert Lehman Collection VIII: American Drawings and Watercolors. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.

Ferber, Linda S. and Barbara Dayer Gallati. Masters of Color and Light: Homer, Sargent, and the American Watercolor Movement. Washington: Brooklyn Museum of Art in association with Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998.

Reed, Sue Welsh, Carol Troyen, Roy L. Perkinson, Annette Manick and Cynthia M. Purvis. Awash in Color: Homer, Sargent and the Great American Watercolor. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts in association with Bulfinch Press, Little, Brown, 1993.

Stebbins, Theodore E., John Caldwell and Carol Troyen. American Master Drawings and Watercolors: A History of Works on Paper from Colonial Times to the Present. New York: Harper & Row, 1976.

Strickler, Susan E., ed. American Traditions in Watercolor: the Worcester Art Museum Collection. Worcester: Worcester Art Museum; New York: Abbeville Press, 1987.

Terra Museum of American Art. Five American Masters of Watercolor: Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Maurice Prendergast, John Marin, Charles Burchfield: Catalogue for exhibition held May 5 -July 12, 1981 at Terra Museum of American Art

Weber, Bruce. Drawn from Tradition: American Drawings and Watercolors from the Susan and Herbert Adler Collection. New York: Hudson Hills Press in association with the Norton Gallery of Art, 1989.

Wilmerding, John and Kathleen A. Foster. American Art in the Princeton University Art Museum. Volume I: Drawings and Watercolors. Princeton: Princeton University Art Museum, 2004.


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