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William Sergeant Kendall    (American, 1869-1938)

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William Sergeant Kendall was born at Spuyten Duyvil, which in 1869 was a picturesque village of tree-lined streets by the Harlem River, as yet unincorporated into New York City. With the encouragement of his family, Kendall enrolled at the Brooklyn Art Guild when he was fourteen. Thomas Eakins, who had begun teaching there the previous year, became Kendall’s first teacher and an everlasting influence on his choice of subject. When Eakins returned to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1884 Kendall continued there with him.
Between the years of 1886 and 1892 Kendall worked in France at the Academie Julian and also spent time in Madrid to see and copy the work of Velazquez, whom he considered the first great modern painter. Returning in 1892, Kendall took a studio in the University Building on Washington Square in New York City and in 1896 he married Margaret Weston Stickney.
Between 1897 and 1906 the Kendalls lived on Manhattan’s west side, first on Twenty-second Street and then on Forty-second Street, before moving to Barrytown on the Hudson River. During these years Kendall won numerous prizes, including a medal at the Carnegie Institute in 1900, a medal at the Paris Universal Exposition of 1900, the Shaw Prize of the Society of American Artists in 1901, and the Shaw Fund Purchase Prize in 1903. In 1901 he was elected an associate and in 1905, an academician of the National Academy of Design.
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