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 George Laurence Nelson  (1887 - 1978)

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Lived/Active: Connecticut      Known for: landscape, interiors, portrait, mural

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Ad Code: 3
George Laurence Nelson
from Auction House Records.
Souvenir of Early Summer
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted December 2002, is from Cornelia C Moynihan, who credits Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

Born in New Rochelle NY, died in Kent CT.

Studied: Buffalo Art Students League, Art Students League, National Academy School and in Paris at Academie Julian with J P Laurens 1911.

Member: ANA 1929, NA 1942, SC, Connecticut Academy, American Watercolor Society, All. A. Am. - President, 1941-43, Kent AA - President 1954-68,
Emeritus member, Salmagundi Club Life member, National Arts Club

Exhibited extensively, many prizes, including Paris Salons, Venice Int., NAD, PAFA, Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, Corcoran Gallery biennials (6), Boston, Rochester, Detroit, Montclair, TX, etc.

Museum collections: Museum of Modern Art, Cleveland, Denver, Dallas, etc.

National Academy of Design, 1910-41,
Cooper Union Art School 1915-23, Cooper Union 1916-on.
Known mainly for oil paintings: portrait, landscape, murals.
The following, submitted July 2004, is from Jim Kieley Woodbury, Connecticut.

George Lawrence Nelson was born in New Rochelle, New York in 1887. He started his long art career by working diligently. He studied in New York City at the National Academy of Design School and the Art Student League. Then he went to Paris and studied at the Academy Julian and in 1911 worked in the studios of Jean Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant. The training was rigorous and typically academic. The instructors at the academies believed that spending long hours drawing and rendering the effects of light best honed the powers of observation. Every studio was furnished with plaster anatomical casts. It was expected that the acolyte be disciplined to render charcoal images in precise detail. At a later time the student was expected to work from life models.

When Nelson returned to the United States, he became an active exhibitor and excelled as a painter of portraits, receiving many prestigious portrait commissions. He also did and still lifes, excelling at floral pieces, and was commissioned to paint various murals. He was noted for his use of color and did not use the somber pallets of his previous instructors. There is no doubt that the impressionists influenced his colors, but he still retained the dependency on outlined forms, a method learned at the Academy. After much experimentation Nelson was successful at combining the two elements of line and color that would result in forming a creative personal style.

He exhibited at The Pennsylvania Academy (1921) and was the recipient of major awards medals and citations. He also became a popular teacher. He was elected Associate of the National Academy of Design in 1929, and a full member in 1942. From 1941-1943 Nelson served as president of the Allied Artists of America, and from 1954 to 1968, he was president of the Kent Art Association.

Nelson lived a good part of his life in Kent, Connecticut, maintaining a studio there throughout his career. He loved the unspoiled beauty of North West Connecticut's Litchfield Hills.

After his death in 1978 the popularity of his work declined, but has recently gained in notice. He is featured in the current publication, "Artists of the Litchfield Hills" written by Connecticut author Robert Austin.

He left his studio land and works to the Kent Art Association, and much of the Nelson's artwork is undergoing conservation. Some will be delegated to various institutions.

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