The Ten American Painters, generally known as The Ten, resigned from the Society of American Artists in late 1897 to protest the politicalization and commercialism of that group's exhibitions, and their circus-like atmosphere. They were: Childe Hassam, J. Alden Weir, John Henry Twachtman, Robert Reid, Willard Metcalf, Frank Weston Benson, Edmund Charles Tarbell, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Joseph DeCamp, and Edward Simmons. When Twachtman died in 1902, William Merritt Chase joined in his place. (Source: Wikipedia)
The Art Spirit by Robert Henri
An art student should read, or talk a great deal with those who read. His conversations with his intimate fellow-students should be more of his life and less of paint. (p. 83)
Do you think that is this because a greater understanding of oneself leads to greater authenticity in art?
He should be careful of the influence of those with whom he consorts, and he runs a great risk in becoming a member of a large society, for large bodies tend toward the leveling of individuality to a common consent, the forming and the adherence to a creed. And a member must be ever in unnecessary broil or pretend agreement which he cannot permit himself to do, for it is his principle as an art student to have and to defend his personal impressions. Somebody, I think it was Corot, said that art is "nature as seen through a temperament."
There are, however, societies of a very few - little cliques which form by sympathy and which believe in and sustain the independence of their members, and which live by the variety of individualities expressed. Such was that coterie of which Manet, Degas, Monet, Whistler and others of special distinction were the outcome. (p. 84)
It's interesting how a blog partially fulfills this important role. In particular, I've grown from this wonderful group of regular commenters who are willing to share and discuss most any art-related topic. At one time, I presided over an art society with over 300 members. The people were lovely, but I couldn't bear the stifling aspects and had to leave it entirely. My art greatly improved after I left.
What are your thoughts and experiences??