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Thomas Wilmer Dewing and Dewing family papers, 1876-1963, bulk 1890-1930

Biographical Note

Painters Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938) and Maria Oakey Dewing (1855-1927) lived and worked in New York, N.Y. and Cornish, New Hampshire. A native of Boston, Thomas Dewing began his art studies at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and traveled to Paris in 1876 to study at the Académie Julian under Gustave Boulanger and Jules Lefebvre. He returned to Boston in 1877 and moved to New York City in 1880 where he met and married his wife, Maria Oakey, in 1881. Known for his tonalist style, Dewing taught at the Art Students League from 1881 to 1888, and was elected to the National Academy of Design in 1888. Dewing was also a member of the Ten American Painters, an exhibiting group that included Childe Hassam and William Merritt Chase. Prominent patrons of his work include the architect Stanford White and the art collectors Charles Lang Freer and John Gellatly.
An artist in her own right, Maria Oakey Dewing began her studies at Cooper Union in 1866 and continued at the National Academy of Fine Arts in 1881. She was also a founding member of the Art Students League and a member of the Society of American Artists. Maria Dewing exhibited works at the National Academy of Design and continued to exhibit still life paintings after her marriage to Dewing, receiving awards at the 1893 Columbian Exposition and the 1901 Pan American Exposition. From 1885 to 1905, the Dewings summered at the artist colony in Cornish, New Hampshire and had one child, Elizabeth Dewing Kaup. Maria died at her home in New York in 1927 and Thomas died in New York in 1938.