Saturday, February 20, 2016

Tarbell Art Exhibit March 4, 2016-June 3, 2016

Great show coming up for Boston School painting fans,  Friday, March 4 through Friday, June 3 at Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH. 

           The show features Boston School artist Edmund C. Tarbell (1862-1938) who was a pioneer of the “Boston School” of painting at the Museum of Fine Arts. His work, evocative of 17th-century Dutch artists, is known for its rich hues and an emphasis on light and tone and delicate brushwork. Unlike previous exhibitions of Tarbell’s work, Discover Portsmouth’s show will emphasize, not just his paintings, but engravings, drawings, and oil studies. When shown in conjunction with a careful selection of the finished oil paintings, these will demonstrate Tarbell’s process from conception to completion.  Below is the poster image found on the Discover Portsmouth site, from which I found information about the show.

Read a little about the artist here. His work hangs locally at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston MA, (an all over the world in other museums!).  Here below is one of my favorites at the MFA Boston:


"Marion Hiller Frenno at Nine as Mandolinata," Edmund Charles Tarbell, 1887-88. 

              Tarbell painted this portrait when he was young, soon after returning from studying in France. Later he became one of the leading Boston School painters and a teacher at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Below are two later paintings that embody his developed Boston School characteristic.

"Reverie (Katharine Finn)," by Edmund Charles Tarbell, 1913.

 "Girl with the Violin, (also known as the Violinist)," by Edmund Tarbell, 1890.

         Tarbell's "Girl with the Violin" above is particularly interesting to me because my teacher, Paul Ingbretson, a current Boston School master painter and teacher, produced a beautiful painting based on the image a couple years ago in the studio. He had a time lapse video created to record his process. This video has been available to the public to view on YouTube, see it here.   This wonderful version by Mr. Ingbretson of Tarbell's painting will be in the "Illuminating Tarbell: Legacy in Action" companion show upstairs on the same dates.

 "The Bach Bouree in E Minor," by Paul Inbgretson, 2014.

   Illuminating Tarbell: Legacy in Action, the companion show, is located upstairs in the Academy balcony gallery. Curator Alastair Dacey makes the case for Tarbell’s ongoing influence as a painter and teacher. Tarbell’s impact and artistic principles are revealed in close to 50 works by six contemporary painters: Don Demers, Paul Ingbretson, Jean Lightman, Mary Minifie, Colin Page, and Alastair Dacey.

 The show:  Friday, March 4 through Friday, June 3 at Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH.   The nonprofit Portsmouth Historical Society, which also operates the John Paul Jones House Museum, is open daily from 9:30-5pm.  For further information on exhibitions, publications, gift shop, lectures, rentals, and tours, please call 603-436-8433.


  1. Thank you Sandra Galda for this site! Love the Boston School!!

  2. You are very welcome Luisa, I am looking forward to seeing the shows. I love the Boston School also!