Julian Alden Weir achieved prominence as an American impressionist painter, watercolorist, pastelist, and etcher. He grew up at West Point, where his father supervised his early artistic training. He studied from 1870 to 1872 in the antique and life classes of the National Academy of Design in New York, and from 1873 to 1877 he pursued his studies in Europe, principally in the studio of Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824 -1904) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. In October 1877 he returned to New York, although he frequently visited Europe in later years. In 1877 Weir was elected to the Society of American Artists and Tile Club, and he was active in several other artist’s groups. He was elected president of the Society of American Artists in 1882 and president of the National Academy of Design in 1915. Beginning in 1878 he taught at the Cooper Union and later for twenty years at the Art Students League.
Weir established himself as a painter of figure and still-life compositions, and later of impressionist landscapes, and won numerous honors during his career. After 1887 he was also active as a printmaker. He married in 1883, and his family divided their time between New York and a farm in Branchville, Connecticut.
Private collections and Provo, Utah, Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library, Weir Family Papers § J. B. Millet, ed., Julian Alden Weir: An Appreciation of His Life and Works, Phillips Publication no. 1 (1921; reprint, New York: Dutton, 1922), with "List of Paintings" by Dorothy Weir and essays by Duncan Phillips, Emil Carlsen, Royal Cortissoz, and others § Agnes Zimmerman, "An Essay towards a Catalogue Raisonné of the Etchings, Dry-points, and Lithographs of Julian Alden Weir," Metropolitan Museum of Art Papers 1, pt. (1923): 1-50 § Dorothy Weir Young, The Life and Letters of J. Alden Weir, ed. and with introduction by Lawrence W. Chisholm (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1960), with notes on dating of works § Doreen Bolger Burke, J. Alden Weir: An American Impressionist (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1983 with bibliography, chronology, checklist of exhibition held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and others, 1983-84.