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 George Plante  (1914 - 1995)

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Lived/Active: South Carolina / England/Scotland      Known for: watercolor military subjects, low-country scene painting

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Ad Code: 4
George  Plante
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography is from Derek Plante, son of the artist.

George Plante was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on September 18th 1914. There he was educated at George Heriots School. Developing a strong interest in art, he went on to graduate from Edinburgh College of Art, later completing his creative education with a scholarship to the Contempora in Berlin.

Returning to the UK, as Hitler rose to power in Germany, he worked as an illustrator for advertising and newspapers; before volunteering for the British Merchant Navy in which he served as a radio officer on tankers in the North Atlantic convoys. During this time he produced a series of paintings and drawings of "The Battle of the Atlantic" for the War Ministry. His paintings were also exhibited by the American - British Art Center in New York, and in the USSR. Many of his wartime art works are now held by the Imperial War Museum in London.

After surviving a torpedo sinking, George was recruited by the British Political Intelligence unit in Cairo. There he collaborated with American military units on writing and illustrating intelligence and propaganda material.

After the war George joined leading American advertising agency Young & Rubicam to open their first London office, and in particular to develop their art direction. Whilst working with Y&R he created, for Gibbs SR toothpaste, the first ever TV commercial shown on British TV. Subsequently he was approached by international advertising agency Lintas to become their International Creative Director responsible for creative thinking and performance in forty offices in thirty two countries. During this time he became a leading consultant on the introduction of colour to TV advertising in the UK and Australia. More than twenty years with Lintas provided many opportunities to travel the world. On these frequent trips he always took a sketch book and paints, developing his unique style reflecting people, places, and interesting things that caught his creative eye. In the Middle East he was commissioned by Caltex to produce paintings of Bahrain, and the oilfields.

Whilst living in London George was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and member of the Society of Industrial Artists. He exhibited with the Royal Society of Marine Artists, the Walker Gallery in New Bond Street, the Hampstead Arts Center, and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

In the mid 70's George retired from the pressure of the advertising world to concentrate fully on his first love of art. Moving to Hilton Head in South Carolina, he soon established a high reputation in the American art world. There his painting reflected colorful international travel experiences, and also the beauty of the South Carolina low country.

His works were regularly on show at the Red Piano Gallery, Hilton Head; he was a leading member of the artists group; and completed several commissions for major local events.

George Plante was very proud of his Scottish birth, upbringing and education. But the USA became a major influence on his life through the War, business, personal friends, and his second marriage. He lived there for about twenty years and became a US citizen shortly before he passed away with leukemia in 1995 at the age of 81 years.

Biography from Morris & Whiteside Galleries:
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and a graduate of the Edinburgh College of Art, George Plante went to Berlin in the early 1930s on an art scholarship.  Back in London when the war started in 1939, he volunteered and became an officer in the British Merchant Navy.  Twice he survived torpedo attacks, once being rescued from the frigid Atlantic. On these extended voyages Planate executed watercolors, drawings and gouaches of what he experienced.  The British government asked him to do his artwork for the War Art Program and some of that work now resides in the Imperial War Museum in London.  During the latter part of the war the artist was involved with political intelligence for the Foreign Office.

Returning to private life Plante was hired to create the London office of one of America’s largest advertising agencies, Young & Rubicam.  For 17 years he led the creative efforts of the office before moving to Unilever International.  In his capacity there as worldwide creative director he had the opportunity for extensive travel around the world.  During these travels his sketchbook was never far from his side.

After retirement in the early 1980s, Plante and his wife Jane chose Hilton Head Island in South Carolina as their home.  For the next decade and a half, he devoted a good share of his time to painting.  Perhaps surprisingly he painted very little of his surroundings on the island and instead drew his material from the many exotic places he and Jane visited.

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