Find, Learn, Price Art
Enjoy the comprehensive art database we've compiled since 1987
Membership Details
Images, sales charts, bios, signatures, 30 artist Alerts and more ...
Art auction records:  Millions of references for pricing research
Or, register for Free Alerts
To track 10 artists.

Already a member?  Sign in here

Laurence Philip Sisson

 (1928 - 2015)
Laurence Philip Sisson was active/lived in Massachusetts, Maine, New Mexico.  Laurence Sisson is known for coastal landscape, marine and figure painting, illustration.

Laurence Philip Sisson

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Laurence Philip Sisson
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Laurence Sisson became a landscape painter and illustrator. He studied at Yale Summer School and was artist-in-residence at Publick House in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and in 1955 became Director of the Portland, Maine School of Fine and Applied Art.

He is known for his paintings of the Maine coast and landscapes of the southwest. His style ranges from plein air watercolors to large oil landscapes with abstract and surrealist elements. Sisson has spent the last forty years living in both areas of the United States yet he notes the most influential place for his artistic development was the time he spent in Japan as a young man.

A talented painter from childhood, he attended art classes at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts. He painted professionally while in his early twenties although he had not yet decided to devote his life to art. While serving in the military during the United States occupation of Japan after War World II, he was assigned to decorate the general's residence in Yokohama. This assignment forced him to learn all he could about the land and culture of Japan, and by the time he left he was changed as an artist and man.

Sisson describes this period of his painting as when he began "designing nature." His work appears to be a response to traditional Asian landscape painting, his Yankee sensibility and western art training at Yale summer school. His landscapes of both Maine and the southwest are inspired by real locations, but are in fact imaginary landscapes.

Sisson was the youngest member of the Watercolor Society of America, but eventually resigned from the organization and has not participated in any others during his career.

Southwest Art, October 2004
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art, Volume II

Biography from the Archives of askART
Biography photo for Laurence Philip Sisson
Obituary By Phaedra Haywood
The New Mexican

No services are planned for painter Laurence Sisson, who died Aug. 7 in Albuquerque after living for years with renal cancer, said longtime friend and Santa Fe art dealer Michael Wigley. Sisson was 87.

The accomplished oil and watercolor artist, whose landscapes are in the permanent collections of 16 American museums, was born in Boston in 1928. He lived most of his life in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, before moving to Santa Fe in 1979 and to Albuquerque in the mid-1980s.

“He was a classic American painter,” said Wigley, owner of Michael Wigley Galleries in Santa Fe, who represented Sisson exclusively from 1991 until his death. “Very traditional, very prolific. His art covered landscapes from Maine to the desert Southwest, large, historic-sized landscapes, dramatic clouds. He’s most famous for his pebble technique.”

Submitted by Joe Carter

Biography from Leslie Levy Fine Art, Inc.
Laurence Sisson's coastal paintings and desert landscapes reflect his love and fascination for the ocean and the Southwestern desert. Now approaching 76 years of age, and after 55 years of painting, this artist says he has discovered that the more he paints, the less he knows.

In his early years of painting, Sisson was known for his watercolors. He was the youngest member at the time ever to be inducted into the prestigious American Watercolor Society. Now he paints exclusively with oils, using rich colors, a rhythmic mix of order and chaos, and the unique technical approach that is easily identified as his own.

Sisson uses unusual colors and special techniques to create paintings that are not created from photographs or sketches but are drawn from a lifetime of memories. Many viewers find elements of surrealism in his paintings.

Born: Boston, Massachusetts - 1928
Studied: Worcester Museum School - Graduated 1949 Yale Summer School - Scholarship 1948-49

Vose Galleries, Boston, MA 1951-53, 1955-57
Shore Galleries, Boston, MA 1958-61, 1963-78
Portland Museum, ME 1954, 1967 (retrospective)
Cincinnati Museum, OH 1954
DeCordova Museum, MA 1958
Clark University, MA 1951
Columbia Museum of Fine Arts, SC 1961
Fitchburg Museum, MA 1957
Galerie Irla Kert, Montreal, Canada 1965, 1967
Huntington Hartford Museum, NY - Gallery of Fine Art 1969
Kobe Sound Galleries, FL 1972, 1974, 1975
Brockton Art Center - Fuller Memorial, MA 1972
Payson Weisberg Gallery, NY 1982
Maxwell Galleries, Ltd., San Francisco, CA 1971
Dalzell Hatfield Galleries, Los Angeles, CA 1971, 1974, 1977
O'Brien's Art Emporium, Scottsdale, AZ 1980, 1982, 1984, 1991
Gallery 10, Inc., Aspen, CO 1982
Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM 1980
Artists of America Rotary Show, Denver, CO 1908, 1990, 1998, 1999
Wadle Galleries, Ltd., Santa Fe, NM 1984,1985
Midtown Payson Galleries, Inc., Hobe Sound, FL 1996
Vanier & Roberts Ltd., Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ 1996
Vanier Fine Art Ltd., Scottsdale, AZ 1998
Westbrook College Museum, Westbrook, ME 1993
Thomasville Cultural Center, Thomasville, GA 2000

Artist-in-Residence, Cincinnati Museum, OH 1954
Director, Portland Museum School, ME 1956-58
Honorary Dr. of Fine Arts Degree, Main College of Art, 1992

American Artist Magazine, December 1957
Cover: Fortune Magazine 1951
DowneastMagazine, January 1967
Southwest Art Magazine, July, 1981
South West Profile Magazine, November, 1983
Santa Fean Magazine, December, 1986
Art of the West Magazine, January/February, 1988
Focus/Santa Fe Magazine, June/July 1990, January/February/March 1996, June/July 1997, June/July 2000
Congressional Record, October 3rd, 1990 - Inclusion of Article fromRio Grande Sun, NMFocus/The Luxury Lifestyle Magazine of South Florida, March 1996

1949 Hallmark Award 1955
Allied Artists Award1955
Elected American Watercolor Society1956
Boston Arts Festival Popular Prize1957
Silvermine Award1957
Boston Watercolor Society - Webster Prize1957
Portland Museum - Bowen Purchase Prize1964
Boston Arts Festival - Popular Prize1982
Elected a Copley Master, Copley Society, Boston

Boston University
Berkshire Museum
Bowdoin College
Clark University
Colby College
Columbia Museum of Fine Arts
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
DeCordova Museum
Dartmouth College
New Britain Museum, Connecticut
Portland Museum
Worcester Museum
Salem State College
Albuquerque Museum Mural
Worcester Polytech Murals
Boston Five Cents Savings BankMural
Bangor, Maine Public Building
First National Bank of Boston
National Park Foundation

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

Share an image of the Artist

  Full access to biographies is
  free each Friday

About  Laurence Philip Sisson

Born:  1928 - Boston, Massachusetts
Died:   2015 - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Known for:  coastal landscape, marine and figure painting, illustration