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 Joseph Michael Plavcan  (1908 - 1981)

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania      Known for: landscape painting

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Ad Code: 4
Joseph Michael Plavcan
from Auction House Records.
Pennsylvania Landscape
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Inspired to become a painter as a student of illustrator and painter George Ericson/Eugene Iverd (1893-1936) in Erie, Pennsylvania at Academy High School, Joseph Plavcan enrolled in 1926 at the Pennsylvania Academy where Ericson had also studied.  Plavcan was awarded a Cresson Scholarship, which allowed him to study in Europe in 1928.  Then he returned to Erie, where he became an art teacher at the Technical High School from 1932 to 1970.  He was highly respected and influential because he aimed his teaching far beyond the trade-school requirements of that institution, such as taking his students into landscape settings to do plein-air painting. 

One of his students, Rick Borgia wrote of his influence: "My artistic skills increased through grade school and by my freshman year my talents were recognized by the great teacher, Joseph Plavcan. He was by far one of the most sophisticated and insightful art teachers I ever had.  I was admitted to his four hour daily class as a freshman in 1965, where the usual entry was in the sophomore year.

I studied with Plavcan for four years where he introduced me to color theory and abstraction, while continually enriching the basics of drawing and ‘seeing’.  This eventually led to entering several college portfolio scholarship competitions during my senior year.  By graduation from Erie Tech Memorial in 1969, I had been awarded two separate scholarships; a two year award at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and a full scholarship at Columbus College of Art and Design."

As a painter, he depicted landscapes and city genre scenes including people mixing together of varying racial backgrounds.

Sources include:
Betsy Fahlman, Artists of the Commonwealth, p. 51
The Art of Rick Borgia,

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