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 John Semon  (1852 - 1917)

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Lived/Active: Ohio      Known for: landscape often forest interior

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John Semon
An example of work by John Semon
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Biography from Butler Institute of American Art:
A landscape painter born in Cleveland in February 1852, John Semon was active there from the mid-1870s until 1910 or later. He was an early member of the Cleveland Art Club, and was listed during the mid-1880s as a teacher of landscape at the Western Reserve School of Design, although the course was suspended several times for lack of funds.

A charter member, from 1888, of the Society of Cleveland Artists and a co-organizer, in 1893, of the all-professional Brush and Palette Club, he was by all accounts a consistently productive painter and gifted teacher.

Painter Marsden Hartley wrote that Semon "was a sort of self-invented cross between Corot and Theodore Rousseau--smoked his pipe incessantly and painted as I recall nothing but beech woods with their golden bark and spreading roots embedded in luscious mosses. Semon planted the art virus in my soul, I had become inoculated and the virus took."

From 1887 until 1899, Semon occupied a fourth-floor studio in the City Hall Building, then the artistic hub of Cleveland, but in later years, plagued by failing eyesight, he retreated to Tinker's Creek, near the village of Bedrod, where he died, December 18, 1917.

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