In response to COVID-19, the Flint Institute of Arts is temporarily closed.

Learn More
The Reader

William Verplanck Birney

American, 1858 - 1909

The Reader, ca. 1890

  • On View

Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 12 × 14 in. (30.5 × 35.6 cm)

Gift of Genevieve and Richard Shaw, by exchange, 2011.317

Cincinnati-born genre painter William Verplanck Birney studied at both the Massachusetts Normal Art School and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (under Eakins). He then went to the Munich Academy where he may have met colleague Louis Charles Moeller (1855-1930). Birney was one of two Americans whose works sold at Munich’s 1883 International Exhibition. He established a studio in New York City and exhibited at the National Academy of Design between 1885 and 1909. In addition, he took part in the 1889 Paris Universal Exposition and in Buffalo’s Pan-American Exposition of 1901, as well as the 1904 St. Louis Universal Exposition.

Image Permissions

Explore Related Objects


Garden Study of the Vickers Children, 1884
John Singer Sargent

Oil on canvas
1972.47


Landscape No. 1 (The Forest), ca. 1912
Andre Dunoyer de Segonzac

Oil on canvas
1940.4


Petite Odalisque, draperie verte (Concubine, Green Drapery), 1921
Henri Émile Matisse

Oil on canvas
2006.62


Conflict, 1966
Adolph Gottlieb

Oil on canvas
1966.23


Angel, 1610-11
Peter Paul Rubens

Oil on modern support transferred from wood panel
2005.158


Turban Squash, 1976
Walter Louis Jones

Acrylic on canvas
1976.8


Landscape, ca. 1880s
Hugh Bolton Jones

Oil on canvas
1962.2


Bacchanale, 1970
John Clem Clarke

Acrylic on canvas
1970.30