February 2 – Sixth annual exhibition of Les XX opens in Brussels, including the first important display of Paul Gauguin's work.
May 6 – October 31 – Exposition Universelle in Paris, with the Eiffel Tower as its entrance arch.
May 8 – Van Gogh moves from Arles to the Saint-Paul asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
June – The Volpini Exhibition: Exposition de peintures du Groupe impressioniste et synthétiste, faite dans le local de M. Volpini au Champ-de-Mars organised by Paul Gauguin and Émile Schuffenecker at the Café des Arts in Paris; other exhibitors include Émile Bernard and Charles Laval.
July 15 – The Scottish National Portrait Gallery opens in Edinburgh in premises designed by Rowand Anderson, the first in the world to be purpose-built as a portrait gallery.
July 23 – Marie Triepcke marries fellow-artist Peder Severin Krøyer in Augsburg.
August 17 – The 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition opens in Melbourne, Australia.
Edvard Munch stages his first one-man exhibition and wins a state scholarship to study in Paris.
Alfred Sisley settles at Moret-sur-Loing.
The Skulpturensammlung moves into the Albertinum in Dresden.
The Imperial Museum of Nara is established in Japan.
Pierre Bonnard – Self-portrait (approx. date)
Antoine Bourdelle – Adam (bronze, Houston, Texas)
Henry Jamyn Brooks – Private View of the Old Masters Exhibition, Royal Academy, 1888
Milly Childers – Self-portrait
Henry de Groux – Christ aux Outrages
Thomas Eakins – The Agnew Clinic
Paul Gustav Fischer – The Royal Theatre Ballet School, Copenhagen
Stanhope Forbes – The Health of the Bride
Henry Justice Ford – Illustrations to Andrew Lang's The Blue Fairy Book
Louis Édouard Fournier – The Funeral of Shelley
The Green Christ and The Yellow Christ (Pont-Aven, c. September)
Portrait of Jacob Meijer de Haan (Le Pouldu, after October 2)
Self-Portrait with Halo and Snake (Le Pouldu, after October 2)
J. W. Godward
His Birthday Gift
Waiting For An Answer
Félix Resurrección Hidalgo – La Parisienne
Jozef Israëls – A Son of the Ancient Race (several versions)
Juan Luna – Hymen o Hymenee
Frederick McCubbin – Down on His Luck
Arturo Michelena – La Joven Madre ("The Young Mother")
Claude Monet – Valley of the Creuse series
Music on Karl Johan Street
Eilif Peterssen – Salmon Fishermen at Nesøya
Ilya Repin – Portrait of Baroness Varvara Ivanovna Ikskul von Hildenbandt
Auguste Rodin – The Burghers of Calais (sculpture)
John Singer Sargent – Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth
Franz Stuck – The Guardian of Paradise
Vincent van Gogh
Hospital in Arles series
Garden of the Hospital in Arles (June)
Ward in the Hospital in Arles (October)
Portrait of Doctor Félix Rey (January)
Self-portrait and Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear (January)
Bedroom in Arles (second and third versions, September)
View of Arles, Flowering Orchards and View of Arles with Trees in Blossom (Spring)
Butterflies series (Spring)
A Road at Saint-Remy with Female Figure
The Starry Night (Saint-Rémy, June)
Saint-Paul Asylum, Saint-Rémy series
Trees and Undergrowth series
Portrait of Trabuc, an Attendant at Saint-Paul Hospital and Portrait of Madame Trabuc (Saint-Rémy, September)
Wheat Field, Sunrise (Saint-Rémy)
Wheat Field with Cypresses (three paintings, Saint-Rémy, July–September)
Carl von Marr – The Flagellants
Fritz von Uhde – Heathland princess
Édouard Vuillard – Self-portrait
John Quincy Adams Ward – Alexander Lyman Holley (bronze bust, New York City)
January 19 – Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Swiss geometric abstract painter, sculptor and dancer (died 1943)
January 21 – Hermann Glöckner, German Constructivist painter and sculptor (died 1987)
April 15 – Thomas Hart Benton, American painter and muralist (died 1975)
May 11 – Paul Nash, English painter (died 1946)
June – James Sleator, Irish painter (died 1950)
July 31 – Júlíana Sveinsdóttir, Icelandic painter and textile artist (died 1966)
August 13 – Christopher R. W. Nevinson, English war artist (died 1946)
September 28 – Seán Keating, Irish romantic-realist painter (died 1977)
October 10 – Han van Meegeren, Dutch painter and art forger (died 1947)
October 17 – Karl Völker, German painter and architect (died 1962)
October 29 – Edward Wadsworth, English painter (died 1949)
November 1 – Hannah Höch, German Dada photomontage artist (died 1978)
January 23 – Alexandre Cabanel, painter (born 1823)
February 5 – James Smetham, pre-Raphaelite painter (born 1821)
February 24 – Philip Henry Delamotte, photographer and illustrator (born 1821)
May 23 – John O'Connor, painter (born 1830)
October 6 – Jules Dupré, painter (born 1811)
December 27 – Eduard Bendemann, painter (born 1811)
date unknown – Jules Tavernier, French painter (born 1844)
1889 in art Wikipedia