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 Frederick Ryan  (1907 - 1975)

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Lived/Active: New Hampshire/California / Canada      Known for: illustration, portrait, landscape

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Frederick Ryan
An example of work by Frederick Ryan
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island., Canada in 1907, Frederick (William) Ryan was the son of John Wilfred Ryan of Kentville, Nova Scotia. Shortly after graduating from Saint John High School, New Brunswick in 1926, Ryan moved with his family to Boston where he studied at the Massachusetts School of Art under Ernest L. Major, and Richard Andrew, who had been a pupil in France of Jean-Paul Laurens and Leon Gerome.

At the age of 21, Ryan traveled to Paris to continue his formal art training. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Lucien Simon, and privately under Louis-Francois Biloul. Also, in Paris, Ryan knew personally the celebrated portrait painter Jacques-Emile Blanche. Ryan frequented Blanche's studio and was guided and influenced by Blanche, who had been closely associated with Manet, Degas, Whistler, and Sickert, among many others.

In 1932 Ryan continued his training at the Boston Art Students' League, which had been recently established by Frank Durkee, a noted figure draftsman who had been trained by George Bridgman, and Arthur Argue. It was there that Ryan met Franz Kline. Together, Ryan and Kline studied figure drawing under Frank Durkee, and pen-and-ink drawing under John Crosman. Ryan and Kline remained lifelong friends.

In 1937, Frederick Ryan married Beatrice Benoit, a 1935 graduate of "Mass Art". Beatrice Ryan also became a professional artist and had a lifelong career as an illustrator. Occasionally Frederick and Beatrice Ryan, sometimes under the name "The Ryans", would work as a team on illustration projects including childrens' books for the C.R. Gibson Co. and the Whitman Publishing Co.

From the early 1940's through the mid 1950's Ryan's concentration was commercial illustration. Examples of illustrations from that period are the "Tales of a Wayside Inn" greeting card series, and the "Early American Landmark Series" published by the Gibson Art Co. From 1952-1955, Ryan illustrated Christmas Seals and posters for the Pontifical Association of the Holy Childhood.

Frederick Ryan returned to fine art in the mid 1950's, while living in Rhode Island. In 1964, Ryan moved from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Santa Clara, California. There he taught oil painting, life drawing, and anatomy at Villa Montalvo, a center for the arts in Saratoga, California. He also taught at the Palo Alto Art Club, the Art Conservatory of San Francisco, and the Paint Brush Gallery, Saratoga. When not teaching, Ryan did paintings that included commissioned portraits, plein-air landscapes, still-life, and figure drawing.

Ryan had exhibited works at the Paris Salon of 1930; the Copley Society, Boston; the Providence Art Club; the de Saisset Museum, University of Santa Clara; the Triton Museum, Santa Clara; the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco; the Haggin Museum, Stockton, California; Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco; the Frye Museum, Seattle; the Rosicrucian Museum, San Jose; Villa Montalvo, Saratoga, California; and in 1967 at the Confederation Art Museum, Charottetown, P.E.I., Canada, a show featuring Canadian artists as part of Canada's Centennial Year Celebration .

Frederick Ryan was a member of the Society of Western Artists, San Francisco; the American Artists Professional League, New York; the Copley Society, Boston; Allied Artists, Santa Clara; and the Portsmouth Art Association (N.H.) Awards include the John W. Russell Memorial Award, Society of Western Artists 27th Annual Exhibition, de Young Museum, San Francisco, 1968, and Honorable Mentions SWA Annual Exhibitions, de Young Museum, 1971 and 1973.

Written and submitted June 2004 by Frederick W. Ryan, Jr., son of the artist.

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