John Bernard Whittaker (Irish-American,1836-1926): The Upset Father. Oil on canvas, signed, framed. After being forced to leave school due to financial constraints at the age of twelve, John Bernard Whittaker apprenticed under his father, a decorator, grainer, and watercolorist who instilled in him a love of painting. Showing much promise, he was able to enroll in the National Academy of Arts and later at the Graham Art School.
He was known for his turn of the century genre scenes, oftentimes placed within the domestic sphere. As was the fashion of the day, many of his compositions deal with etiquette, morality, and the family unit.
Whittaker had moderate success, exhibiting seventy-eight works at the Brooklyn Art Association during his lifetime, and was appointed faculty positions at the Graham Art School, the Brooklyn Academy of Design, and Adelphi Academy, where he was employed as the head of the department until his retirement in 1916.
In addition to being an adept oil painter, Whittaker was active in the Brooklyn art scene, founding the Sketch Club, the Brooklyn Art Social, the Brooklyn Art Association, and the Brooklyn Academy of Design, where he would join the faculty as one of its inaugural teachers. He sought to bring foreign art to both his students and the community, and after a summer in Paris and Munich in 1877, arranged an exhibition of works from European schools and galleries for the betterment of the community.
He retired in 1916 and continued painting until his death in 1926, at the age of ninety.
48 1/2 x 54" frame
From a Massachusetts estate
Very good condition. Recently restored.
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