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John Henry Twachtman (1853–1902)
Stone & Kimball (New York)
The Damnation of Theron Ware (or Illumination), 1896
color lithograph
53.3 x 33 cm (21 x 13 in.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, museum purchase

Detail 1
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Biography of John Henry Twachtman

Born in Cincinnati, John Henry Twachtman gained an early exposure to art, observing his father paint fruit, flowers, and landscapes on shades at Breneman Brothers window-shade factory. In his teens Twachtman also began to work at the factory. He enrolled in night classes in drawing at the Ohio Mechanics Institute and then attended the McMicken School. Twachtman's European training included two years at the Royal Academy in Munich and three years at the Académie Julian in Paris. Settling in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1889, he produced many of the Impressionist landscapes for which he is best known.

Twachtman's only known poster design was commissioned in 1896 by Stone & Kimball, promoting Harold Frederic's book The Damnation of Theron Ware. Revealing Twachtman's background as a painter, the design relies on subtle colors and brushwork more than the bold color contrasts and lines favored by postermakers of that era.

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