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 John Gregoropoulos  (1921 - 2012)

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Lived/Active: Connecticut/Massachusetts / Greece      Known for: landscape painting, teaching

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Anatolitiko I, 1954
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is the obituary of the artist published in The Hartford Courant, September 16, 2012.


John Gregoropoulos, Dec. 16, 1921 - September 10, 2012. "Death, why must you come for me on a day so full of sun and glory?"

John Gregoropoulos was born in the shadow of the Acropolis in Athens Greece. His parents, Stelianos and Elpiniki, came from the Peloponnesian village of Lagadia. His father had become an American citizen so John was legally a native of both countries. When the family moved to Boston, he took solace in the Museum of Fine Arts and had his first one man show at the age of 13.

The Greek landscape became the defining image of his life as an artist. He learned to play the violin, which became a life-long passion. In the late 30's, the family moved back to Athens. John's knowledge of English and Greek got him work with the British Army trying to liberate Greece from the Nazis. He also learned Italian, German and French. He then fought in the Civil War, when he helped fight the Communists who tried to take over Greece as the Germans left.

Greece had been so ruined by war that when he heard that a ship for refugees was heading to America an hour later, John said goodbye to his parents and headed to a new life. Since America was still at war with Japan, John was drafted into the army. He later attended UConn where he received a B.A. in philosophy and started the fencing team, which he would later coach.

John met Noemi Carocari of North Stonington, staying in school an extra semester so he could take classes with her. They graduated and married in 1950. John got a job teaching art at Norwich Free Academy, and was quickly recruited by the University of Connecticut where he taught painting, drawing, and theory. He helped build UConn into a first rate art school while pursuing his career as an artist.

His work has been shown around the world, from The Whitney Museum in New York to the Titanium Gallery in Athens. He retired from UConn in 1985, but loved teaching so much that he taught for several years at Connecticut College, until 1995.

John is survived by three children Steven, Noah and Vilma Gregoropoulos; and by four grandchildren, Nizhoni and Noah Brown, and Edgar and Mignon Gregoropoulos. John died peacefully at his home in North Stonington, CT, surrounded by his family.

Submitted by Steve Gregoropoulos, son of the artist

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