The Sisters, 1921
Edmund Charles Tarbell (American, 1862 – 1938)
Oil on canvas; 61 1/4 x 51 1/2 inches
Gibbes Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Ferrell Cannon in honor of Mary Tarbell Schaffer and J. T. Ferrell (1979.001)
When the group known as ”The Ten” assembled in late 1897, half were artists with ties to Boston. A loosely knit clique of established painters, ”The Ten” shared a dissatisfaction with the limited exhibition opportunities available to them. The key founding members of the group were Childe Hassam, J. Alden Weir, John Twachtman, Frank Benson, and Edmund Tarbell. Benson and Tarbell, both faculty members of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, devoted numerous canvases to the depiction of women. The Sisters portrays Tarbell’s daughters, whose descendants became lifelong residents of Charleston. Tarbell’s attention to the clothing and drape on the left reflects his interest in pattern, texture and color, which was inspired by Japanese prints and the work of James McNeill Whistler.
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