In February 1908, a group of artists known as The Eight exhibited at the Macbeth Gallery in New York City. The Exhibition of Paintings by Arthur B. Davies, William J. Glackens, Robert Henri, Ernest Lawson, George Luks, Maurice B. Prendergast, Everett Shinn, John Sloan was organized with the encouragement of Robert Henri, who had resigned from the jury of the 1907 National Academy of Design spring show to protest the rejections of paintings by Luks, Shinn, Glackens, and other artists (Marstine). The Macbeth exhibition traveled to nine cities after its run in New York. It is known as being the forerunner of artistic independence, which can be seen in later exhibitions such as the ones sponsored by the Society of Independent Artists that are discussed as a highlight in the Documenting the Gilded Age exhibition (Marstine). The Eight had no consistent subjects and/or styles that bound them together. Glackens, Henri, Luks, Shinn, and Sloan painted gritty urban realist scenes while Davies, Lawson, and Prendergast were influenced by nineteenth-century French painting (Marstine). The urban realist painters of The Eight became part of the Ashcan School, known for portraying scenes of everyday American life.
Two of the exhibition items digitized for the Documenting the Gilded Age project from the C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries include the works of three members of The Eight. The paintings of Luks, Prendergast, and Sloan appeared in exhibitions held at Kraushaar in December of 1921 and 1922 (see illustrations). A published checklist of works shown accompanied the 1921 exhibition. An illustrated catalog with commentary accompanied the 1922 exhibition. The Frick Art Reference Library Photoarchive, which contains image reproductions of works of art, is an important resource for discovering information about the paintings of Luks, since there has not been a catalogue raisonné, a comprehensive list of the artworks by an artist, published for him. The Little Milliner and A Holiday on the Hudson, which most likely appeared in the 1921 exhibition, can be found in the Photoarchive (see illustrations). Milliner is currently in the collection of the Toledo Museum of Art, and Holiday is in the collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art. While it cannot definitely be determined that these two paintings were shown in the 1921 Kraushaar exhibition since only titles are given in the checklist, it is highly probable, as the information accompany the images in the Photoarchive indicates that both paintings passed through the hands of the Kraushaar Art Galleries. In the 1922 exhibition catalog, commentary about Luks frames him as an artist that creates art “without respect to the qualms of one class or the ascetic or maladive digestions of another,” (C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries, see illustration). The painting that accompanies this statement is Woman with Macaws, which is now in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Art (see illustration). In the catalog, Luks is applauded for his antiestablishment art that goes against the traditional good taste of the time.
C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries. An Important Collection of Paintings and Bronzes by Modern Masters of American and European art, Dec. 4–30, 1922. New York, 1922. Web. 23 Nov 2012. <http://arcade.nyarc.org/record=b1186426~S1>