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The De Young Museum

The above painting is by the American artist Thomas Wilmer Dewing, painted near the end of the 19th century. Part of the collection of the De Young Museum in San Francisco, it is titled "Elizabeth Platt Jenks" and is a stunning example of his masterful use of blended edges and limited detail.

I visited the De Young Museum this last weekend when in San Francisco. I went specifically to see their exhibition "The Birth of Impressionism," a collection of over 100 paintings on loan from the Musee D'Orsay in Paris. I was awed by my favorites (Bougereau, Tissot, Moreau, de Chavanne, Millet, Regnault, Fantin Latour, Caillebotte, Cezanne, Pissarro, Whistler, Manet and of course Monet, too -- google each of these artists if you are so inclined - but get yourself a drink, too, and kick back and enjoy).

But I also had the pleasure of discovering a Dewing in their permanent collection, one I hadn't seen before.

Dewing is one of my favorite artists. His paintings evoke a mood that transcends time, and his subjects are firmly rooted in their own reality. You can see a close up of this painting on the De Young website right here.

The Dewing painting hung in a room which took my breath away. One entire wall that included the above painting, along with a John Henry Twachtman, Berthe Morisot, Robert Henri, John Singer Sargent and Childe Hassam (wall pictured below). I was ready to roll my suitcase into the gallery and settle down for an extended stay.

Nothing compares to seeing masterpieces in person. I was simultaneously awed, tearey eyed, breathless, intimidated and inspired. If you want to see closeups of the above paintings and other pieces at the De Young, load up their website and browse the collection. (For that matter, this works for just about any other major museum, too.)

And if you can get in there to see the Birth of Impressionism, tell Whistler's Mother that I'm thinking of her.

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork and musings with your friends and family.

TWITTER: ksantini
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) and That's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.


  1. Wonderful post - if you ever get tired of painting you could go into museum PR! I also love the angled photo of the long wall of paintings. That viewpoint captures the magnitude of the room so well.

  2. Sarah, I want to go back and see their fall-winter exhibition, and revisit this room, too. I love visiting museums, esp ones I don't get to that often. There's always something to learn!! :)

  3. A wonderful post! I am reading "The Swan Thieves" right noe, you would LOVE it.


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