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 John Marion Shinn  (1849 - 1936)

About: John Marion Shinn


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Lived/Active: New York/Iowa      Known for: trompe still life

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Dubuque, Iowa, John Shinn became a painter of trompe still life, but this was something that by choice he did as an avocation instead of a profession because he had obvious art talent.

He studied art at the Polytechnic Institute in St. Louis and then went to New York in 1872 where he enrolled at the Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design. It is likely that he was at the Academy at the same time as William Harnett, father of trompe l'oeil painting in America.

Shinn left the pursuit of art shortly after he finished these studies to teach school at Pelham Manor, take a law degree, and become active in politics and journalism in Westchester County for the remainder of his life.

But he continued to paint for many years, and his still lifes, many of them with music motifs, obviously bore the influence of Harnett. He also did fruit and flower pieces, and many of his pieces had an undertone of humor.

Source: After the Hunt by Alfred Frankenstein

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