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 George William Whitaker  (1841 - 1916)

About: George William Whitaker


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Lived/Active: Rhode Island/New York/Massachusetts      Known for: landscape, coastal scene and fruit still life painting

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BIOGRAPHY for George Whitaker
1841 (Fall River, Massachusetts)
1916 (North Providence, Rhode Island)

Rhode Island/New York/Massachusetts

Subject to Copyright

Often Known For
landscape, coastal scene and fruit still life painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
His works can be found at:
Brown University :
1. Oil painting [untitled]--small landscape of a grove of trees (1884) [Edwin A. Burlingame Bequest] (acc.# HP 01169)

Brown University--Gardner House:
1. Oil on board [untitled]--still life with fruit and ewer (1905) (acc.# HP 00806)
2. Oil on board [untitled]--landscape of a heath on a sunny day with a figure in middle ground (1903)
3. Oil on board [untitled]--landscape with dark trees in background, open space in foreground and a glimpse of white clouds reflecting light (1907) (acc.# 00808)

Moses Brown School:
1. Oil painting, "Fountainbleau"
Newport Art Museum:
1. Oil painting, "At Reynold's Lane, Bristol, R.I." (acc.# 1991.019.2)

Providence Art Club:
1. Oil painting, "Fruit"
2. Oil painting, "Woodlands"
3. Oil painting, "One Big Cloud"
4. Watercolor [untitled]--beach scene with figures (1890)
5. Watercolor [untitled]--seascape (1882)
6. Oil painting, "Crab"
7. Oil painting, "Wood Interior"
8. Oil painting, "Late Twilight"
9. Oil painting, "Winter"
10. Oil painting, "In Butler Asylum Grounds"
11. Oil painting, "Road to the Quarry" (1887)
12. Oil painting, "Sunset"
13. Watercolor, "Winter Brook"
14. Oil painting, "Arthur Fenner House"
15. Oil painting, "Still Life with Grapes" (1883)
16. Oil painting, "Landscape" (1883)

Rhode Island Historical Society:
1. Oil painting, "Cat Swamp, Seekonk River" (1896) (acc.# 1945.5.1)
2. Oil painting, "Bower's Cove" (1879) (acc.# 1973.3.1)
3. Oil painting, "Sakonnet Point" (1885) (acc.# 1986.12.1)
4. Oil painting, "Old Gaspee House" (1891) (acc.# 1994.40.1)
5. Wooden shop sign, painted and gilded (ca. 1890) (acc.# 1988.31.1)

Rhode Island School of Design:
1. Oil painting on canvas, "Landscape" (1883) (acc.# 12.218)
2. Oil painting on canvas, "Providence Harbor" (1892) (acc.# 53.421)
3. Oil painting on canvas, "Still Life" (mid 19th-early 20th c.) (acc.# 55.130)
4. Watercolor/gouache [untitled] (1877) (acc.# 70.098)
5. Oil painting on canvas [untitled] (mid 19th-early 20th c.) (acc.# 70.099)
6. Painting [untitled] (acc.# D38.200)
7. Painting, "Landscape" (acc.# D91.037)

Unveiled: a directory and guide to 19th century born artists active in Rhode Island, and where to find their work in publicly accessible Rhode Island collections
by Elinor L. Nacheman

Biography from Blue Heron Fine Art:
George William Whitaker, tonalist landscape, still life and marine painter, was called the "Dean of the Providence Painters".  His largest scale canvases are typically still lifes, and his landscapes seldom include people, or animals.  He was also a teacher, becoming the first instructor in oil painting at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Born in Fall River, Massachusetts, Whitaker spent his student years in New York where he apprenticed to an engraver uncle.  While still in his youth, his talent was recognized by the renowned landscape artists George Inness and Alexander Wyant and others associated with the Hudson River School.  With this encouragement the young artist went to study in France under Laszlo DePaal, an Hungarian artist.  There his paintings became heavily influenced by Barbizon painters of the Fontainebleu, especially the talented Francois Millet.

George Whitaker's excellence in art is equaled to his contribution to the development of a Rhode Island art community.  He was instrumental in recognizing the need for an organization to nurture and support the talented  artists within the state.  The Providence Art Club was formally instituted in 1880 by Whitaker and his friends Sydney Burleigh,  E.M. Bannister and Charles Walter Stetson.  The club provided not only a formal association with fellow artists but a public forum in which to present his work.  Whitaker was also a founder of the Providence Water Color Club.

In 1895, Whitaker moved into the "Fleur de Lys" studio of Sydney Burleigh.

Sources include:
Blue Heron Fine Art
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

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