Skip to Main Content

American Watercolors

Resources on watercolor societies from the 19th and 20th centuries in New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston.


Boston Water Color Society

The Boston Water-Color Society was organized in 1885 by Childe Hassam, a principal of both the American Watercolor Society and the New York Water Color Club, and his friend Ross Turner, together with another dozen mostly Boston-based artists. The society’s exhibitions, begun that same year, were generally small, usually including the work of no more than twenty artists, all members and, until 1918, all men. The first exhibitions were held at the Williams & Everett Galleries, and from 1899 took place at the Boston Art Club (see analytical chart).

In 1892 the society renamed itself the Boston Society of Water Color Painters, probably to distinguish itself from the women’s group, the Boston Water Color Club, as the two groups were perpetually confused in the press. Following the pattern of the rival New York clubs, the two groups began to exhibit together in 1939 and eventually merged. In 1960 the name reverted to the Boston Watercolor Society, and in 1980 became the New England Watercolor Society, the name still used today.



To suggest additions or corrections, please contact



1885 1887 1888–Mar*
1888–Dec  1890  1891*
1892 1895* 1896
1898 1899 1900*
1901 1902 1903
1904 1905 1906
1908 1909 1909/10*
1909/10* 1911 1912
1913  1914*  1915*
1916 1918 1919
1920*   1921  

* no extant catalogue has been found. If one is located, please contact

We are grateful to the William Morris Hunt Memorial Library, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for allowing us to digitize and include these catalogues here.