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 John Fabian Carlson  (1874 - 1945)

About: John Fabian Carlson
 

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Lived/Active: New York/Colorado / Sweden      Known for: landscape and snowscape painting, teaching

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John Fabian Carlson
from Auction House Records.
Forest Silence
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Known for his Tonalist* nature paintings, especially snow scenes, in conservative style, John Carlson was one of the leading landscape painters in America in the early 20th century.  He founded the John F Carlson School of Landscape painting in Woodstock, New York, and in 1942, co-founded with Emile Gruppe a summer school in Gloucester.  He was a proponent of juxtaposing light and shadow to capture the changing moods of nature.

He spent his childhood in Kalmar-Lan, Sweden, and immigrated at age 10 with his family to Brooklyn, New York and later to Buffalo.  His father, encouraging his son's art talent, hired a private tutor, and he later attended the Buffalo Albright Art School* where his teacher was Lucius Hitchcock.  In 1902, he enrolled on a scholarship at the Art Students League* in New York City, and his teachers were Frank Vincent DuMond and Birge Harrison.  He and Harrison became very close friends, and Carlson joined his teacher at Woodstock but decided he did not like the regimentation.

However, in 1906, he returned to Woodstock as Harrison's assistant, and also became active in the Arts and Crafts Movement at Woodstock as part of the Byrdcliffe Colony*. In 1909, he had his first one-man show in New York City.  In 1911, he was elected to the National Academy of Design* and made a full academician in 1925 and until 1916, became director of the Art Students League summer school.

After traveling extensively in the United States, he returned to Woodstock and founded his own school. He also helped found the Broadmoor Art Academy* in Colorado Springs, and painted frequently in the Canadian Rockies and Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Sources:
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art
http://www.museum.cornell.edu/byrdcliffe/

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see AskART.com Glossary http://www.askart.com/AskART/lists/Art_Definition.aspx


Biography from David Cook Galleries:
As a young child in Sweden, John F. Carlson was introduced to art by an uncle who decorated carriages with landscapes. At the age of twelve, Carlson moved with his family to the United States and settled in Buffalo, New York. Carlson’s early interest in art grew and he apprenticed with a lithographer and received guidance from an amateur artist named Frederick Mayor. He later worked as a Lithographer at Cosack & Company to help support his family.

His formal training began at the Albright School of Art (Albright Art Gallery) where he studied under Lucious Hitchcock. In 1902, Carlson earned a scholarship to the Art Students League in New York where he was a pupil of Frank Vincent DuMond.

Following his two years of study at the Art Student’s League, Carlson went to Woodstock, New York, with a scholarship to study at Byrdcliffe, a fledgling art colony (later known as the Woodstock Artists Association). He received instruction from Birge Harrison, a Tonalist, who became both a mentor and a friend to the young artist. In 1906, Carlson, who was then a member of the Art Students League’s Board of Control, was instrumental in the decision to move the League’s summer school from Connecticut to Woodstock. Birge Harrison was named director of the new school of landscape at Woodstock and he hired Carlson as his assistant. Carlson became the school’s director following Harrison’s retirement in 1911, hiring Frank Swift Chase as his assistant. By that time, there were over one hundred students studying at the school. Enrollment was at its greatest under Carlson’s directorship which lasted until his resignation in 1918.

In June of 1920, Carlson and his family moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Carlson, who by that time had earned national recognition as a landscape painter, was appointed director of the newly established Broadmoor Academy. The artist was thrilled with his new surroundings and stated “Nowhere outside of Italy can one see such combinations of color as the afternoon wanes.” Carlson spent two summers teaching landscape painting at the Broadmoor Academy.

In 1922, Carlson returned to Woodstock where he established the John F. Carlson School of Landscape Painting. Three years later, the artist was elected a full member of the National Academy of Design.

In 1928, Carlson published an instructional book titled Elementary Principles of Landscape Paintings. The book was reprinted as Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting in 1953, 1958, and 1970.

EXHIBITIONS
Art Institute of Chicago, 1905-1929; National Academy of Design, 1907-1944 (Carnegie prize, 1918; Ranger Fund prize, 1923; Altman prize, 1936); Glaenzer Gallery, New York City, 1908 (solo); Katz Gallery, New York City, 1909, 1912 (solos); Corcoran Gallery, 1910-1943; Swedish-American Exhibition, Swedish Club, Chicago, 1911 (first prize), 1913; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1911-1931; Salmagundi Club, New York, 1912 (first Isidor prize and Vezi prize for watercolor), 1923 (Shaw watercolor prize), 1925 (prizes); Memorial Art Gallery, New York City, 1913; Washington Society of Artists, 1913 (silver medal); Copley Gallery, Boston, 1913, 1915; Macbeth Gallery, New York City, 1913-1940’s; Pan-Pacific Exposition, 1915 (silver medal); St. Louis Art Museum, 1917; St. Louis Museum of Art, 1917, 1943; Swedish National Museum, Stockholm, 1920; “Scandinavian-American Artists” exhibition, Brooklyn Museum, 1926, 1928, 1932; Anderson Gallery, Chicago, 1927 (solo); Brooks Memorial Gallery, Memphis, 1941 (solo); American Watercolor Society; Colorado Springs Art Gallery; Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts; Dayton Art Institute, Ohio; Milch Gallery, New York City; Mohr Gallery, Toledo, Ohio; Montclair Art Museum; New York Watercolor Club; National Arts Club; Paradox Gallery, Woodstock, New York; Plainfield Art Association, New Jersey; Sartor Gallery, Dallas; Washington Watercolor Club; Vassar College Art Gallery; Vose Gallery, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1987 (solos); Babcock Gallery, New York City, 1990’s (two solos).

COLLECTIONS
Art Institute of Chicago; Brooks Memorial Gallery, Memphis, Tennessee; Butler Art Institute; Carnegie institute; Corcoran Gallery of Art; Dallas Public Library; Fort Worth Art Association; Lincoln Art Association Nebraska; Metropolitan Museum of Art; National Academy of Design; Oberlin College; Randolph-Macon Women’s College, Lynchburg, Virginia; Toledo Museum of Art; Woodstock Art Association.

Further Reading:
Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary, Vol. 3, Doris Ostrander Dawdy, Swallow Press, Chicago, 1980. 3 Vols.

The Founders of the Woodstock Artists Association Exhibition Catalog, Carol B. Brener, ed., Woodstock Artists Association, Woodstock , New York, 2000.

John F. Carlson and Artists of the Broadmoor Academy, David Cook Fine Art, Denver, Colorado, 1999.

Pikes Peak Vision: The Broadmoor Art Academy, 1919-1945, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1989.

A Show of Color: 100 Years of Painting in the Pike’s Peak Region, Robert L. Shalkop, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1971.

Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975: 400 Years of Artists in America, Vol. 1. Peter Hastings Falk, Georgia Kuchen and Veronica Roessler, eds.,Sound View Press, Madison, Connecticut, 1999. 3 Vols.

Woodstock’s Art Heritage: the Permanent Collection of the Woodstock Artists Association, historical survey by Tom Wolf; published for the Woodstock Artist’s Association by Overlook Press, Woodstock, New York, 1987.

Biography from Broadmoor Galleries:
Known for his Tonalist nature paintings, especially snow scenes, in conservative style, John Carlson was one of the leading landscape painters in America in the early 20th century. He founded the John F Carlson School of Landscape painting in Woodstock, New York, and in 1942, co-founded with Emile Gruppe a summer school in Gloucester. He was a proponent of juxtaposing light and shadow to capture the changing moods of nature.

 He spent his childhood in Kalmar-Lan, Sweden, and immigrated at age 10 with his family to Brooklyn, New York and later to Buffalo. His father, encouraging his son's art talent, hired a private tutor, and he later attended the Buffalo Albright Art School where his teacher was Lucius Hitchcock. In 1902, he enrolled on a scholarship at the Art Students League in New York City, and his teachers were Frank Vincent DuMond and Birge Harrison. He and Harrison became very close friends, and Carlson joined his teacher at Woodstock but decided he did not like the regimentation. However, in 1906, he returned to Woodstock as Harrison's assistant, and also became active in the Arts and Crafts Movement at Woodstock as part of the Byrdcliffe Colony.

In 1909, he had his first one-man show in New York City. In 1911, he was elected to the National Academy of Design and made a full academician in 1925 and until 1916, became director of the Art Students League summer school. After traveling extensively in the United States, he returned to Woodstock and founded his own school. He also helped found the Broadmoor Art Academy in Colorado Springs, and painted frequently in the Canadian Rockies and Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Biography from Heritage Auctions:
The native Swede John Fabian Carlson became a household name in New York art circles during the early 20th century, training at the Albright School of Art with Lucius Hitchcock and the Art Students League with Frank Vincent DuMond.

In 1906, Carlson was instrumental in relocating the League's summer school from Connecticut to Woodstock, New York, where he imaged the still beauty of the surrounding countryside in fine Tonalist landscapes. Director of this summer school in 1911, Carlson established the John F. Carlson School of Landscape Painting in 1922.

Carlson's paintings are in numerous museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Maier Museum of Art, Randolph-Macon Women's College, Lynchburg, Virginia.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.


John Carlson is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915



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