J. Alden Weir

CFA Service: 1916–1919

Julian Alden Weir was a landscape painter who helped found the American Impressionism movement. Weir studied at the National Academy of Design then spent four years, from 1873 to 1877, at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and in the studio of Jean-Léon Gerôme; during this time, his work was shown at the Paris Salon. Returning to New York he taught at the Art Students League and became friends with painters William Merritt Chase and Winslow Homer. In the 1880s and 1890s, Weir—influenced by the French Impressionists, Japanese art, and the observation of nature—turned to landscape painting and helped form a group of like-minded painters, “The Ten,” which included Childe Hassam and John Twachtman. His farm in Branchville, Connecticut, now a National Historic Site, became a favored retreat for Weir, his family, and his circle of friends, including painters John Singer Sargent and Albert Pinkham Ryder. Weir was president of the National Academy of Design, served on the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He received numerous honors and awards, including honorary degrees from Princeton and Yale Universities. His papers are in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.