Edward Laning, whose dream as a young man was to travel across the country in his car, solicit various communities to paint murals in the local courthouses, and execute mural decoration for the cost of the materials and room and board, became an outstanding mural painter with a special talent for figure painting. Born in Petersburg, Illinois in 1906, he studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1923-24) then at the University of Chicago (1925-27). He received further art instruction for the following three years at the Art Students League in New York under Max Weber, John Sloan, Boardman Robinson, Thomas Hart Benton and Kenneth Hayes Miller. Laning owes much of his style to the latter.
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