Quick Reference

March 22nd through April 27th

Vanderbilt Gallery
Fine Arts Building
215 W. 57th Street
New York, NY

Works exhibited: 1
1 - Oil

Hallgarten Prize for best painting
by an artist under 35

Oil Paintings by
artist under 35.


Not only was this RSW's "first prominent public notice" but Mr.Hallgarten's nephew Robert himself purchased the piece.

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Exhibition: 94th Annual Exhibition
Sponser: National Academy of Design
Awards: Hallgarten Prize / Best Oil Painting by arist under 35

RSW's Diary Comments

"1918 -1919. The first 40 x 50 I ever made. Urged to do it by Gardner Symons and sent to Spring National Academy Exhibition (N. Y.) where it was awarded the first Hallgarten prize ($300). My first prize, my first prominent public notice! Mr. Hallgarten, himself, bought the painting from the exhibition for $500, a tremendous sum to me at the time. I had been painting in oils only for two years! Have heard nothing of the canvas in recent years and fear it may have darkened or cracked, as I was not aware of the proper mediums to use for lasting results in those days. Feel badly about this possibility. Fine criticism of this canvas in N. Y. Times Magazine of March 30, 1919."

Additional Notes

215 W. 57th Street New York, NY today
Fine Arts Building, 215 W. 57th St. NYC,
today captured from Google Earth

Founded in 1825 by Samuel F. B. Morse, Asher B. Durand, Thomas Cole, Martin E. Thompson, and others "to promote the fine arts in America through instruction and exhibition," the Nation Academy of Design (known also as the National Academy) held an annual exhibit of which the Hallgarten Prize (named for Julius Hallgarten) for best painting by an artist under 35 was given since 1884.

Source: Wikipedia- National Academy Museum and School

In RSW's diary comments above he states that "Mr. Hallgarten, himself, bought the painting from the exhibition for $500." The assumption was always that Julius Hallgarten had purchased the painting, however, Julius died in 1885 so that would have been impossible. Our best guess would be that Julius' nephew Robert Hallgarten was most likely the buyer. We could not find any record of Julius having a son.

A capture of The Outlook article
The Vanderbilt Room of the Fine Arts Building

Traditionally, the National Academy of Design holds it's annual exhibition in the Vanderbilt Gallery (seen to the left) within the Fine Arts Building on west 57th Street. However, a fire in January of 1920 damage the room and the annual exhibition was held at the Brooklyn Museum that year and returned to the Vanderbilt Gallery in 1921.

Source:The Outlook Magazine online publication