(34 years old)
for the first
time shows his Impressionist work to the public in Boston at the St.
Botolph Club where he exhibited A Morning Walk (1888), but
finds that the public liked Dennis Bunkner's work better.
Then in February
13th thru 15th he
exhibited again at the New York Union League Club. Here, Sargent was
alone in showing an Impressionist painting which included Paul
Sketching with his Wife (1889) and A Morning Walk (1888).
the critical reaction was muted at best.
While he's in New
York, he goes with James
Carroll Beckwith and sees Carmencita perform whom he saw the
previous year at the Exposition Universal, Paris. 10 days later he
to have her perform privately at a party at William
Merrit Chases' 10th street studio. He talks her into letting him
Sketching with his
Wife (1889) travels from New York to Chicago and then back to
In each city the reaction was mixed between indifference and open
to Impressionism. Though American audiences had been exposed to both
and American Impressionism since 1883 -- at least to some degree -- the
warm welcome Sargent had found in America had suddenly turned to a cold
shoulder regarding his Impressionism.
March: he begins
painting La Carmencita.
May: he exhibits
at the Society of American Artists, New York.
May: John and Edwin
whom he knew from Broadway, England, both are approached about doing
mural work for the Boston Public Library. The building was under
and designed by Charles
McKim. Those in charge wanted very much to find artists to decorate
the building in a fashion of the great public buildings of Europe with
public art. Through Stanford White, architect (whom Sargent had met in
1887) and Augustus Saint-Gaudens, (met in Paris in '78) they got their
man. The architects meet with Sargent, Abbey,
on May 9th, and both are excited about the wide-open possibilities.
McKim quickly writes
to the Library trustees to get their approval.
goes to Massachusetts,
Nahant, Manchester, Worcestern for portrait commissions.
In June he paints Mrs.
L. Davis and Her Son, Livingston.
End of August
and first of September he is in Buzzards Bay Massachusetts where he
paints Booth, Jefferson and Lawrence Barrett.
November 7th, He
his commission for the Boston Public Library. Though Sargent had first
considered Spanish literature, he eventually chose the history of
as his subject.
Sargent embarks on
public mural projects
that would span close to 30 years of his life.
Sometime during the
is painted by Giovanni Boldini.
He returns to
England from United
States with his sister Violet. He meets his mother and his sister Emily
1890 continued . . .