William Rimmer, 1816-1879

William Rimmer, 1816-1879

William Rimmer, 1816-1879

William Rimmer, 1816-1879


William Rimmer was one of the most remarkable figures in American art--a powerful draughtsman, a learned anatomist, a great teacher, a highly imaginative painter, and the most gifted sculptor of his time in this country. Yet his work is seldom seen and his name little known to the public. Misfortune followed his career, and the volume of his surviving works is comparatively small.

For some years Mr. Lincoln Kirstein has been gathering material for a new book on Rimmer. The Whitney Museum of American Art had been planning a Rimmer exhibition, as had the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which held a memorial exhibition in 1880 and a centennial exhibition in 1916. The two museums were fortunate in securing the cooperation of Mr. Kirstein in arranging the present exhibition. They wish to express their deep indebtedness to him for his aid in selecting the works, and for writing the catalogue text and preparing the chronology, bibliography and catalogue notes.

In view of the small number of Rimmer's surviving works, the exhibition has been supplemented with a photographic section showing works lost, destroyed, or unavailable for showing.

It is hoped that the exhibition will result in bringing to light other works by Rimmer, and letters or other biographical data. Anyone knowing of such material will render a valuable service by communicating with Mr. Lincoln Kirstein, 225 East 74th Street, New York.

We wish to make grateful acknowledgement to the museums and owners who have generously lent works to the exhibition. Many individuals have also given invaluable assistance, and Mr. Kirstein and the two museums wish to express particular thanks to Dr. Rimmer's grandniece, Mrs. Marion MacLean, and her brother Mr. Roger Rimmer Ward, and to Miss Marjorie Crandall of the Boston Athenaeum, Miss Priscilla MacFadden of the Boston Public Library, Miss Agnes Mongan and Miss Helen D. Willard of the Fogg Museum of Art, Mr. James F. Ballard of the Boston Medical Society, Mrs. William Penn Cresson, Mr. Royal B. Farnum, Mr. Henry Watson Kent, Mr. George E. Nerney and Miss Florence Snelling.


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