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 Ogden Minton Pleissner  (1905 - 1983)

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Lived/Active: Vermont/New York      Known for: fishing-hunting genre and landscape painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Brooklyn, New York, and remaining a resident of New York, Ogden Pleissner became a painter in realist style of hunting genre, field and stream, scenes and also urban scapes of Europe. He studied at the Art Students League in New York and then headed West, where he painted the Teton Mountains in Wyoming.

In the 1930s, he began using watercolor as his primary medium, ever fascinated by its transparency. In 1932, the Metropolitan Museum of New York purchased one of his paintings, making him the youngest artist at that time in the museum collection.

During World War II, he painted Aleutian bases in for the United States Air Force and also illustrated the Normandy invasion for Life magazine. After the war, he painted urban views of France.

Source: Michael Zellman, "300 Years of American Art"
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Ogden Pleissner was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1905. When he was eleven a friend gave him a paint box filled with all the colors in the world. His father was very interested in the arts, especially music, and his mother was an accomplished violinist who had studied in Germany. Despite growing up in the city, Pleissner was attracted to the outdoors and as a teen he visited dude ranches in Wyoming where he sketched from life.

After high school in Brooklyn he spent four years studying figure painting and portraiture at the Art Students League, and wishing he were out-of-doors. He has painted open-air pictures ever since. In the 1930s he began using watercolor as his primary medium. In 1932 the Metropolitan Museum in New York City purchased one of his paintings, making him the youngest artist at that time in the Museum collection.

During World War II he painted pictures of the Aleutian bases for the Air Force and Life Magazine and later of the Normandy invasion. He was equally at home in New York City, rural Vermont or fishing for salmon in the Northwest. He died in 1983.


Written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

Sources include:
Time Magazine, November 23, 1953
From the internet, AskART.com

Biography from William R Talbot Fine Art:
An avid hunter and fisherman, Ogden Pleissner applied his gifts as an artist in the realist tradition of Eakins and Homer to the depiction of the sporting life, creating some of the finest shooting and fishing scenes of the twentieth century.

Born and raised in Brooklyn in 1905, Pleissner was a city boy who studied at the Art Students League in Manhattan. As a teen, however, he spent summers at a boys' camp in Dubois, Wyoming, where he frequently sketched and painted the magnificent scenery that surrounded him. His experiences in the West instilled a life-long love of the outdoors and influenced his career in the direction of landscape painting, particularly as a backdrop for sporting scenes. He brought to these landscapes a fine sense of composition, superb draftsmanship, an exacting eye for detail, and the masterful use of color. He also possessed an uncanny ability to capture the human body in action, a skill that was well suited for images of the “gentlemen’s pursuits” to which he himself was devoted. Because he knew first-hand the proper techniques for shooting and fly fishing, he was singularly gifted at capturing the excitement and tension of the sporting moment—the bird just flushed, the trout just hooked.

Pleissner produced prints at the peak of his career for Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, Inc. The nonprofit angling organization was founded to promote catch-and-release fly fishing and sound conservation practices for streams and rivers. Given the organization’s investment in the preservation of fly-fishing standards, the choice of Pleissner to create their inaugural image was meaningful. Here was an artist who understood the nuances of the sport. With his artistic sensitivity to weather, time of year, and light, he was able to locate the sportsman in a setting not only of great natural beauty but also with such realism that the image can call forth in any angler a memory of the best fishing day he ever had.

Ref.: Peter Bergh, The Art of Ogden M. Pleissner (Boston: David R. Godine, 1984), pp. 73, 99, 107–108; Limited Edition Print no. 16, illustrated on p. 108.

Biography from Carolina Galleries - Southern Art:
Ogden Minton Pleissner
1905-1983

Born in Brooklyn and educated in the East, he traveled both to the West and to Nova Scotia in pursuit of his favorite subject, salmon fishing. In 1932, The Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased one of his oils, making him the youngest artists in their collection.

In the 1940s, he was a commissioned artist for "Life Magazine” and the U.S. Air Force. After the war, he painted both European genre and sporting scenes, following the two careers simultaneously at different galleries. A formal man, he was an outdoorsman who wore a tie. His sporting art was successful because he knew proper techniques for shooting and fly fishing and left a body of art showing these subjects at their best.

Memberships:
National Academy
Society of American Etchers
Allied Artists of America
American Watercolor Society
Brooklyn Society of Artists
Century Association
Philadelphia Watercolor Club
Baltimore Watercolor Club
Salmagundi Club
Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts
Audubon Artists
Lyme Art Association

Exhibited:
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1928, 1933-49, 1952-53
Corcoran Gallery biennials, 1928-53
Carnegie Institute
Art Institute of Chicago
National Academy of Design, 1959 (Altman Prize)
American Watercolor Society, 1956 (gold)
Metropolitan Museum of Art
National Arts Club, 1928-31 (prizes)
Salmagundi Club, 1935 (prize), 1938 (prize)
Whitney Museum of American Art, 1938-56

Public Collections:
Amon Carter Museum
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Brooklyn Museum
Toledo Museum of Art
Whitney Museum of American Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Biography from The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction:
Ogden M. Pleissner (1905-1983) was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father was very interested in the arts, especially music and his mother was an accomplished violinist who had studied in Germany. At age 16, Pleissner was sent to a summer camp in Dubois, Wyoming. He spent two summers at with camp with a group of 15 or 20 other boys. A third summer was spent on a dude ranch where Pleissner did much drawing and sketching. These first experiences in the American West were to influence Pleissner's career indelibly and led to his lifelong interest in hunting, fishing and the outdoors. Pleissner had some instruction in art while at the Brooklyn Friends School. In 1922, Pleissner attended the Art Students League in New York for four years. After he graduated, he made a number of drawings and illustrations of cowboys and Indians and took them around to "Scribners" and other magazines, he was turned down everywhere.He was an artist of enormous range, talent and energy and was equally at home in New York City, rural Vermont or fishing for salmon on the Grand Casapedia. His art is firmly rooted in the nineteenth-century classical tradition of Eakins and Homer. He was a superb draughtsman, and his painting shows an obsession with exact composition, perfect perspective and the realistic depiction of human anatomy and activity. Pleissner was a singularly gifted artist of the outdoors and of those sports that are the occupation of gentlemen. He had a genius for capturing the excitement of sport, whether it was grouse shooting in Scotland, duck hunting on the Chesapeake or salmon fishing on the Miramichi. His technique and use of color are unsurpassed. His works are greatly admired by both art collectors and hunting and fishing enthusiasts.

Biography from Stephen B. O'Brien Jr. Fine Arts, LLC:
Ogden Minton Pleissner was born in Brooklyn, New York and studied figure painting and portraiture with Frank DuMond and Frederick J. Boston at Manhattan’s Art Students League. Despite growing up in the city, Pleissner was attracted to the outdoors and as a teen he visited dude ranches in Wyoming, where he sketched from life. In later years, Pleissner and his first wife, Mary were regular guests at the C-M Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming.

Pleissner wanted to be classified as a landscape painter first, who also loved to hunt and fish.During World War II, Pleissner painted for the United States Air Force and Life magazine. During his years in the service, he primarily completed watercolors as the portability and immediacy of that medium accommodated working in the field.

Pleissner’s work is included in more than thirty public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and hangs in the offices of the Pentagon, West Point, and the Air Force Academy.

While Pleissner’s subjects range from the landscapes of Europe to salmon fishing in Quebec, his style is informed by the classical traditions. He is quoted as saying, “A fine painting is not just the subject . . . It is the feeling conveyed of form, bulk, space, dimensionality, and sensitivity. The mood of the picture, that is most important.”

Biography from Thomas Nygard Gallery:
OGDEN MINTON PLEISSNER, NA (1905-1983)

Pleissner was educated at the Brooklyn Friends School. He studied at the Art Student League, the pupil of F. J. Boston, Bridgman, and DuMond. In 1932 the Metropolitan Museum of Art purchase of an oil made him its youngest artist. He began painting in watercolor in the 1930s. In World War II he painted for the United States Air Force and also for Life magazine. He has since then specialized in realistic watercolors of city subjects in France, Italy, and Spain.

According to “Paintings from the C R Smith Collection”, Pleissner’s first painting subject was the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. “Wyoming Artists” lists him as a painter who has worked in Wyoming. Fond of the outdoors, he made many Western hunting and fishing trips he combined with painting.

Biography from William A. Karges Fine Art - Beverly Hills:
Ogden Pleissner was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1905, and educated there at Friends School, and the Art Students League. Summers in Wyoming as a teenager instilled a life-long fascination and devotion to the outdoors. An avid hunter and fisherman, Pleissner combined his knowledge of these “Gentlemen’s Pursuits” with his exacting technical draftsmanship and eye for detail.

Simultaneously showing European Genre paintings and Sporting art at different galleries during his life, Pleissner also exhibited at some of America’s finest venues, including the National Academy of Design, Metropolitan Museum, and Whitney Museum of Art.

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