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Whitaker, George W.

George W. Whitaker was known in his day as "the dean of Rhode Island" artists. He was born in Fall River, Massachusetts and as a youth he became involved in the New Jersey Utopian community known as "Phalanx." He was apprenticed to his uncle Nathaniel Munday, a New York engraver. It was in New York that Whitaker met George Inness and Alexander Wyant, two proponents of Tonalist painting. In the 1870s Whitaker worked with Inness in Paris, where both artists attended the Swedenborgian church. Influenced by his studies in Fontainbleu and Barbizon, Whitaker's Tonalist romanticized landscapes are characterized by an evocative use of light and dark, forbidding forests. After returning to America, Whitaker settled in Providence, where he and colleagues Edward M. Bannister and Charles Walter Stetson helped establish the Providence Art Club. Whitaker had a studio at 65 Westminster Street in downtown Providence, and later at the Fleur de Lys studio at the foot of College Hill with Sydney R. Burleigh. He ws the first teacher of oil painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and founder of the Providence Water Color Club.

Title: Apple, Grapes, Banana, Orange
Medium: oil on paper mounted on canvas, signed lower right, 7 1/8" x 9 1/8"

Title: Approaching Morning
Medium: oil/canvas, SLL and dated 1896 18" x 29"

Title: Brilliant Sunset
Medium: oil/canvas: SLR & dated 1873 12" x 18" sight


Title: Old Tree at the site of Basil the Smithy, Grand Pre
Medium: oil on panel, unsigned, 12" x 9"

Title: View of Providence
Medium: oil on canvas, SLR dated 1911, 14.25"x18.25", sight