William Greason (1884-1945)
The artist William Greason was born in St. Mary’s, Ontario, Canada, on February 24, 1884. Seeking a career in art, he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts under Thomas Anshutz and Hugh Breckenridge, at the Darby School in Washington, D.C., and beginning in 1905, at the Academy Julian in Paris under Bashet and Laurens.
The artist officially immigrated into the United States in 1910 and settled in Detroit. He was naturalized in 1915. He was given the honor of a one-person show at the Detroit Museum of Art in 1912 and shortly after established the William Greason School of Fine Art in the Fine Arts Building. Greason was a member of the Scarab Club in Detroit, where he exhibited regularly, and the Salmagundi Club in New York.
The artist created city scenes and portraits of many of Detroit’s citizens. Many of his landscapes, for which he was best known, were inspired by the Lake Michigan shores and in 1937 he and his wife Pearl – they had just been married in 1930 – established the Greason School of Painting in Douglas, Michigan. Pearl, an artist in her own right, continued the school after his death in 1945.
Barrie, Dennis Artists in Michigan 1900-1976. 1989
the exhibition catalog Painting the Town, A History of Art in Saugatuck and Douglas, The Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society, Douglas, Michigan. 1997.
Submitted by Edward Bentley, researcher of Lansing, Michigan