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 Cameron Booth  (1892 - 1980)

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Lived/Active: Minnesota      Known for: regionalist and abstract painting

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Cameron Booth
An example of work by Cameron Booth
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A painter of American landscapes and an art teacher in New York City and Minneapolis, Cameron Booth painted in both realist or post-impressionist styles as and abstract styles including Cubism.  Late in his career he adopted Abstract Expressionism including gestural techniques.  Many of his realist paintings of rural Minnesota make him part of the American Scene movement with his depictions of iron mining towns, struggling farmers, Indian reservations and other hard-living conditions is Minnesota during the 1930s.

He was born in Erie, Pennsylvania and studied at the Art Students League of Chicago, with Andre L'hote in Paris, and Hans Hofmann in Munich.  From 1944 to 1948 and 1948 to 1954, he taught at The Art Students League in New York City and from 1948 to 1960 at the Minneapolis School of art, which became the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

While a student in Chicago, he attended the Armory Show of 1913, which introduced avant-garde styles from Europe to America. Booth became interested in Picasso, Cezanne and Braque and stayed in Europe after serving in World War I.

Sources include:
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art (Minnesota Museum of American Art)

Biography from Kramer Gallery, Inc.:
A prominent painter in both Regionalist and Abstract Expressionist styles, Cameron Booth had a national career from the 1920s through the 1970s.  Booth was born in Erie, Pennsylvania and studied art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Twice a student of the influential German artist Hans Hoffman in both Munich and New York, as well as a student of Cubist Andre L'hote in Paris, Booth absorbed modernism at its European source.  In 1921 he came to Minnesota to teach at the Minneapolis School of Art (today the Minneapolis College of Art and Design) and found new subject matter in Minnesota's landscapes, farms and Indian peoples.

Booths's 1920s works bring Post-Impressionist form and color to Midwestern scenes, which were also his primary subject matter during the 1930s. In following decades he painted in a thoroughly Abstract Expressionist mode.  A traveling exhibition of Booth's abstract paintings was organized by the American Federation of Arts and circulated nationally, starting in 1961.

Booth was also an important teacher of modernist ideas and methods at the Art Students League in New York and later at the University of Minnesota, where his many students included Pop artist James Rosenquist.  A collection of archival materials documenting Booth's career is at the Minnesota Historical Society.

Written and submitted by Thomas O'Sullivan, museum curator and freelance writer.

Sources include:
Nina M. Archabal, "In Memoriam Cameron Booth 1892-1980: a Chronicle from his Scrapbooks," Minnesota HIstory (Fall 1980)
American Federation of Arts, CAMERON BOOTH (1961)

Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis MN
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul MN
Minnesota Museum of American Art, St Paul MN
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis MN

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