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 Gideon Cohen  (1894 - 1989)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/Saskatchewan / Canada      Known for: floral garden landscapes and architecture painting

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Ad Code: 4
Gideon  Cohen
from Auction House Records.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Garden (triptych)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Gideon Cohen was born 1894 in Dover, England, and died 1989 in Cambridge MA.  His parents were pacifists, and they sent him to work on a farm in Saskatchewan Canada in 1915 in order to avoid having to serve in the British army.  He moved to Arlington MA in 1923 after marrying Lillian Leight of Boston.  They had three children, Joel, Nina and Theodore.

He had no way to continue with his first love, farming, and he became a furrier, a business that he had learned from his father.  He would buy raw furs from trappers and fur farmers in New England and sell them to artisans who would convert them into coats for sale.  In place of farming, he did extensive gardening. 

He learned to paint by watching the educational TV station in Boston at the age of 69-70.  In the next 24 years, he created 196 paintings.  Many of his paintings are of flowers, usually from his garden. 

He earned public acclaim in 1974 for a one-man exhibition at the Concord Free Public Library from The Christian Science Monitor whose review headline was "Grandpa Moses of Arlington". (1) The writer explained they gave him that name because he was a 'late blooming' artist whose paintings, like that of Grandma Moses, proved ingratiating and because he "had children and grandchildren before he took up painting.  However, the reviewer also made a distinction between them:  "Unlike that genuine 'naive' artist, he came from a cultivated, cosmopolitan environment.  Born in London, he came to Boston at age 21.  . . . His whole family was musically inclined."

Other paintings by Gideon Cohen are of places that he had visited in Britain and the Boston area. Among his most popular are those of some of the buildings of Harvard University, such as Dunster House. 

His paintings have been exhibited at many venues including:

1. “A Time for Children,” The Vault Gallery of Boston Safe and Deposit Trust Co., 1974; nine artists. 
2. Robbins Library Concert Series, Arlington MA Town Hall 1977; solo exhibition. 
3. Scolley Square Gallery, Boston City Hall; solo exhibition. 

Group Exhibitions:
1. Boston Copley Society, New England Shores Exhibition, Oct. 1978; exhibited “Perkins Cove.” 
2. Arlington Art Association, Art Exhibit and Sale.
3. Lexington Arts and Crafts Society and Painters Guild Exhibition. 

Juried Exhibitions:
1. Lexington Arts and Crafts Society and Painters Guild, Waltham St. Gallery; exhibited “Concert Tapestry Room Gardner Museum.” 
2. 4th Annual Adult Art Exhibition, Arlington Arts Council: Arlington Alive March1985. 

He has won numerous awards and honors.

Written and submitted by Theodore Cohen, Son of the Artist

(1) Mary Lou Kelley, The Christian Science Monitor, arts/entertainment, Friday, February 1, 1974

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