Americans learned to love watercolor after a valiant band of enthusiasts formed a watercolor society in New York in 1866. Their annual exhibitions built a following for the medium that would make it a favorite of artists, collectors, and critics who would claim watercolor as “the American medium” in the twentieth century. Looking at the work of central players, such as Winslow Homer (1836–1910) and John Singer Sargent (1856–1925), with examples from many artists included in the Stebbins gift to the Morse Museum, this lecture traces the transformation of the status of watercolor in the United States and the forces that propelled it to unexpected popularity.