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 Anne Lyman Powers  (1922 - )

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: modernist landscape and cultural themed painting-expressionism

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from Auction House Records.
The Osprey's Nest on a Daybeam
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Childs Gallery:
Anne Lyman Powers was born and raised in Boston.  An early interest in the arts led her to study under a number of artists at various institutions, including the Winsor School, Vassar College, Columbia University and the Boston Museum School, where the notable Boston Expressionist* Karl Zerbe was her painting instructor.

For Anne Lyman Powers, the pleasure and interest she takes in painting is derived from the tension that exists between realism* and abstraction*.  While she enjoys painting realistic subject matter, including the natural landscape from Rhode Island to Maine and the athlete in motion, her sense of composition, color relationships and texture lean toward the abstract.  Her aesthetic goal is that the marriage between these two aspects will "make possible and enhance a feeling, an experience or a statement about the world…or about the human condition".

This philosophy was especially apparent when, as a young artist, Powers embarked on a series of politically charged expressionist works that would be her signature for decades.  Touring Europe on a family summer vacation in 1937, 15-year-old Anne Lyman (Powers) got a firsthand glimpse of pre-war Nazi Germany, which she later called a horrible "dress rehearsal" for what was to come.  That same year, Munich featured two infamous art shows: one that Adolf Hitler approved, the other branded "Degenerate*." The Boston teenager viewed both with alarm.

"The question of why dictators feared modern art became important to me," says Powers.  "I needed to understand why Hitler would hate the painting of a black square on a white background by Malevich or a colorful expressionist landscape by Nolde. The political drama haunted me then and still does."

That experience, along with frequent exposure to the Paris avant-garde*, strongly influenced Powers' artwork from the 1940s through the '60s, which blended elements from "a bit of surrealism*, a bit of pop art*, and a bit of abstract expressionism". Alternately witty and moving, her subject matter conveys biting social and political commentary in vividly colorful scenes that dominate every inch of the canvas.

Anne is a member of the Artists Equity, Boston Visual Artists Union, and the Boston Printmakers.

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary


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