Henry James and American Painting

October 19, 2017 - January 21, 2018
Hostetter Gallery


The novels of Henry James paint a vivid tableau of American expatriate social and artistic life at the turn of the last century. This exhibition, the first to explore in depth the intersection between James’s friendships with American artists and his writing, brings together nearly fifty works, including paintings on loan from museums across the United States and Great Britain, as well as a selection of photographs, manuscripts, letters and printed books from the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, where the exhibition originated, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s own art and archival collection.

Don't miss Henry and Isabella: The Art of Friendship. This mini-exhibition features archives from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's collection and highlights the long-running and intimate friendship between James and Gardner.

Exhibition Catalog

Henry James and American Painting exhibition catalog.

These works illuminate the creative exchanges that took place in artists’ studios and grand salon—in Boston, Florence, London, Venice, and elsewhere—between James, Gardner, and other luminaries in their overlapping circles, including John La Farge, John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler. The work of several female artists in these same circles, including the painters Elizabeth Boott Duveneck and Lilla Cabot Perry, speak to the complex roles of women in society at the time as eloquently as the words penned by James about his memorable female protagonists.

Love these works? You can get custom print reproductions of pieces from Henry James and American Painting in our Print on Demand shop.

Events Inspired by Henry James

The lead sponsors of the Henry James and American Painting

This exhibition and related programs are also made possible thanks in part to support from Amy and David Abrams, the Barr Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives funding from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Henry James and American Painting is organized by the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, and made possible with a lead gift from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation and major funding from the Henry Luce Foundation.

Media Sponsor: The Boston Globe