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 John Garrett Hanlen  (1922 - 2003)

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania/Kansas      Known for: collage, war artist, regional scene painting, teaching

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Ad Code: 3
John Hanlen
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Artist John Garrett Hanlen was born in Winfield, Kansas in 1922, and was educated at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts* in Philadelphia, and The Barnes Foundation*.

Enlisting in the United States Army in 1942, he served during World War II in the Pacific Theatre making drawings and illustrations for armed forces publications. After the war he studied mural painting techniques with American mural painter George Harding, receiving The Edwin Austin Abbey Fellowship for Mural Painting in 1951.  He then collaborated with Harding for two years (1954-56) in Mill Grove, Pennsylvania on The John James Audubon Shrine Murals, with each depicting a different geographical area where Audubon painted.

Throughout his lifetime Hanlen worked in many styles and mediums including realism*, illustration, modernism*, and expressionism*.  But he is most commonly considered an abstract expressionist* collage* artist whose style was similar to that of the "New York School" of artists working in the 1950‘- 60‘s, such as Pollock, Krasner, Rothko, de Kooning, and Kline.

John Hanlen won numerous awards and fellowships including The Cresson Traveling Scholarship* two subsequent years, 1942 and 1943; The Thouron Faculty Prize*, 1942; The Rome Collaborative Prize and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Award*, both in 1950; The Bertha M. Goldberg Award, 1967; and The Charles K. Smith Prize in 1973.

As an instructor Hanlen taught at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1953-2003), and at Moore College of Art* as Professor of Drawing and Painting (1954-2000) both in the Philadelphia area.

Exhibiting at galleries and museums throughout his lifetime, Hanlen created work, which can be found in the permanent collections of The Library of Congress, Washington D.C.; The United States Army Art Collection; The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; the Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia; and The State Museum of Kansas.

Michaan's Auctions;

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Served as a faculty member at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia in 1956.

Exhibitions: 15th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition, 1939; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1956.

Collections: Winfield Arts and Humanities Council.
Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Topeka Journal (Mar. 19, 1939); AskART,, accessed Dec. 16, 2008; U.S. Federal Census 1930.
This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
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