Charles W. Bartlett  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Charles William Bartlett (born 1 June 1860 in Bridport, Dorset - 1940) was an English painter and printmaker. He studied metallurgy and worked in that field for several years. At age 23, he enrolled in the Royal Academy in London, where he studied painting and etching. After three years of study in London, he entered the private studio school Académie Julian in Paris, where he studied under Jules Joseph Lefebvre (1836-1911) and Gustave Boulanger (1824-1888).

In 1889, he returned to England and married Emily Tate, but shortly thereafter, his wife and infant son died in childbirth. Bartlett then traveled to Europe, spending several productive years in Holland, Brittany and Venice with his friend and fellow artist Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956). Brangwyn is believed to have introduced Bartlett to Japanese prints. Bartlett produced some of his most important early works on the Continent, especially studies of peasants painted in broad areas of color. He was invited to join the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in France in 1897. In 1898, he returned to England and married Catherine “Kate” Main. Bartlett returned to the Continent with his second wife, and in 1908, he helped found the Société de la Peinture a l'Eau in Paris. Several Continental museums acquired his paintings at the Paris exhibitions of the Société de la Peinture a l'Eau.

Bartlett made several trips to Brittany and Holland with the Dutch painter Nico Wilhelm Jungmann (1872-1935), which provided the former with material for future paintings of peasants, whose dignity derived from the simple placement of shapes.

In 1913, with financial backing from his wife's well-to-do family, the Bartletts traveled to Pakistan, India, Ceylon, Indonesia, China, and Japan. He arrived in Japan in 1915, where he met woodblock print publisher Watanabe Shozaburo (1885-1962), who was a major force in early 20th century Japanese art (Shin hanga). In 1916 Watanabe published 21 woodblocks from Bartlett’s designs, including six prints of Japanese landscapes. In 1917, Charles Bartlett and his second wife left Japan for England. However, they stopped off in Hawaii, where they remained—never returning to England. He did visit Japan in 1919, where he created sixteen Shin hanga prints for Watanabe.

Anna Rice Cooke (1853-1934), who founded the Honolulu Academy of Arts, became Bartlett’s advocate and patron. In 1928, Bartlett helped to found the Honolulu Printmakers along with local artists Alexander Samuel MacLeod, John Melville Kelly, and Huc-Mazelet Luquiens. Charles Bartlett died in Hawaii at the age of 79 on 16 April 1940.

Collections and exhibitions

The Bradford Museums and Galleries (West Yorkshire, UK), the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery (Bristol, England), the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, and the Library of Congress (Washington, D. C.) are among the public collections holding work by Charles W. Bartlett.

The Honolulu Academy of Arts holds a large collection of Charles Bartlett’s paintings and prints, and has held five one-man exhibitions of his work:

  • Charles W. Bartlett: Watercolors, Oils and Prints, May 30, 1939 - June 11, 1939
  • Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings and Sketches by Charles W. Bartlett (1860-1940), February 5, 1946 - March 3, 1946
  • A Printmaker in Paradise: The Art and Life of Charles W. Bartlett, November 15, 2001 - January 6, 2002
  • Charles Bartlett's Visions of India, April 30, 2009 - August 9, 2009
  • Bartlett in HawaiTemplate:Okinai, May 7, 2009 - September 13, 2009




  • Bartlett, Charles W., Catalogue of an Exhibition of Water Colors and Wood Engravings of India, Japan, and the Hawaiian Islands by Charles W. Bartlett, New York, Arthur H. Hahlo & Co., 1919.
  • Ellis, George R. and Marcia Morse, A Hawaii Treasury, Masterpieces from the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Tokyo, Asahi Shimbun, 2000, 152-2, 224.
  • Forbes, David W., Encounters with Paradise: Views of Hawaii and its People, 1778-1941, Honolulu Academy of Arts, 1992, 206-233.
  • Honolulu Academy of Arts, Charles W. Bartlett: Watercolors, Oils and Prints at the Honolulu Academy of Arts Exhibition May 30 – June 11, Honolulu Academy of Arts,1939.
  • Konody, P. G., The Artist: Charles William Bartlett, The Studio (London), 1906.
  • Merritt, Helen and Nanako Yamada, Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 1992.
  • Miles, Richard and Jennifer Saville, A Printmaker in Paradise, The Art and Life of Charles W. Bartlett, with a catalogue raisonné of etchings and color woodblock prints, Honolulu, Hawaii, Honolulu Academy of Arts, 2001.
  • Numata, Hideko, Charles W. Bartlett and Modern Japanese Landscape Woodblock Prints, In Eyes Towards Asia:Ukiyoe Artists from Abroad, Yokohama, Yokohama Museum of Art, 1996, 227-238.
  • Schmidt, Rosalind Bartlett, Charles W. Bartlett: The Early Period unpublished manuscript on deposit at the Library of Congress and at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, 1961.
  • Stephens, Amy Reigle The New Wave - Twentieth Century Japanese Prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, Bamboo Publishing Ltd. London and Hotei - Japanese Prints, Leiden, 2005.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Charles W. Bartlett" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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