The Corner links to this piece on "Whistler's Mother", as it is popularly known, from the Financial Times. I like stories about artists. I think Whistler's style is a lot more European than American, though, and I'm pretty sure he lived most of his life in Europe.
John's Favorite American Painters
6. Childe Hassam
5. James McNeill Whistler
4. John Singer Sargent
3. Thomas Eakins
2. Mary Cassatt
1. Winslow Homer
Honorable Mention: The Midwesterners (Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, Grant Wood), the Ashcan School, the Illuminationists, and the Illustrators (from Charles Dana Gibson to Norman Rockwell). And whoever painted Dempsey vs. Firpo, the greatest sports painting ever.