Wilhelmina Weber Furlong (1878–1962) was a German American artist and teacher. Among America's earliest avant-garde elite modernist painters, Weber Furlong was a major American artist who pioneered modern impressionistic and modern expressionistic still lifepainting at the turn of the twentieth century's American modernist movement.
She has been called the first female modernist painter in the early American Modernism scene, and she represents the struggles of many women artists in the late 1800s and early 1900s as they became subjugated to the many realists who opposed the American modernist movement and serious women artists.
Beginning in 1892 her teachers included Emil Carlsen, William Merritt Chase, and Edmund H. Wuerpel. She was present at the Salon d'Automne or Autumn Salon for three years and she knew Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, and others who exhibited at the Paris Salon. In the American modernism movement she painted between 1892 and 1962 where she thrived during the modernist movement in St. Louis, New York City, and Paris from 1897 to 1906. She painted in Mexico City from 1906 to 1913 and again in New York City from 1913 to 1947. She was also active during the formative years of the modernist movement in New York City and the popular 1913 Manhattan studio gallery of Wilhelmina Weber Furlong was highlighted in her biography. She also painted in Bolton Landing, New York from 1921 to 1960 at her Modern art colony, Golden Heart Farm and simultaneously in Glens Falls, New York from 1952 to 1962.
In America her significant circle of friends and acquaintances includes John Graham, Willem de Kooning, David Smith, Dorothy Dehner, Jean Charlot, Edward Hopper, Alexander Calder, Rockwell and Sally Kent, Thomas Hart Benton, Allen Tucker, Max Weber, Kimon Nicolaidies, and many others. As a student, she was associated with the Art Students League as a young woman prior to 1900 and in 1913 began a serious role in the New York art scene at the Art Students League as a Secretary Treasurer and member of the Board of Control along with her husband, the artist Thomas Furlong. She taught art for over 56 years in New York and she was active with the Whitney Studio Club during the formative years of the organization in New York City a fact revealed in the Studio Club archives.
Weber Furlongs' close association in Bolton Landing, New York with the sculptor David Smith has had a lasting influence on the hamlet to this very day and she is known to be responsible for bringing him to the farm he purchased there with his wife sculptor and painter Dorothy Dehner. Weber Furlong's works are on permanent display at the Bolton Landing Museum.
The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, New York has displayed the works of Wilhelmina Weber Furlong since 1966 where they hosted a major solo retrospective of the artist's work after her death in 1962. The Tang Museum at Skidmore College holds a work by Weber Furlong which has been exhibited regionally since 1952. In the early 1950s Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York held solo exhibitions of the works of Weber Furlong for several years and she exhibited alongside the artist David Smith at the State Capital in Albany, New York. The Ft. Edward Art Center hosted a solo exhibition in May 1994. Starting in late September 2012 through early April 2013, The International Woman's Foundation in Marfa, Texas held a major retrospective of the works of Weber Furlong featuring over 75 unseen works and private belongings of the artist including her Victorian easel. The one woman show was held at the Iconic Building 98 studio galleries along with a one-hour lecture by Professor Emeritus James K. Kettlewell, retired curator of the Hyde Collection.
Marfa, Texas Chinati Weekend, 2012, Marfa, Texas
In Spring of 2012, Wilhelmina Weber Furlong became the subject of a documentary film based on the biography on the life of the popular early American woman modernist. Permanent displays of the work of Wilhelmina Weber Furlong are at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, New York and the Bolton Landing, New York town history museum.
On August 7, 2012 the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, New York hosted a documentary film crew and lecture on Wilhelmina Weber Furlong featuring James K. Kettlewell, Professor Emeritus Skidmore College and retired curator of the Hyde Collection, where they displayed one of Wilhelmina Weber Furlong's lost works.
New York State Historic Markerlocated at City Hall in Glens Falls, New York
On July 23, 2013 the City Glens Falls, New York Common Council approved a resolution to place a New York State historical marker in downtown Glens Falls near City Hall. The resolution stated: "Weber Furlong (1878–1962) One of America's great and influential artists of the twentieth century, Weber Furlong was among the first to champion the Modern art movement. The final years of her life were spent in Glens Falls, where she lived and taught near this site at her Ridge Street studio until her death in 1962. Placed for the Warren County Bicentennial."
Husband: Thomas Furlong was a member of the executive Board of Control of the Art Students League and beginning in 1927 an art instructor at New York University. He was married to Wilhelmina Weber Furlong. In the American modern art movement, his significant circle of friends and acquaintances included John Graham, Wilem de Kooning, David Smith, Dorothy Dehner, Jean Charolot, Alexander Calder, Rockwell and Sally Kent, Thomas Hart Benton, Allen Tucker, Max Weber, Kimon Nicolaidies, and many others. Thomas Furlong lived and worked in New York, City and shared a gallery with his wife Wilhelmina Weber Furlong. He was a realist and an accomplished muralist.