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 Lawrence Squires  (1887 - 1928)

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Lived/Active: Utah      Known for: landscape and portrait painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Salt Lake City, to a family of "tonsorial artists,"meaning barbers, Lawrence Squires had a short career but became one of Utah's better known artists.  He was one of several men in a Utah family of nationally known painters and illustrators that included his grandfather, John P. Squires, and uncle Clyde.  The family had a reputation as closely knit and intellectually inclined.

Lawrence, also earning money as a barber, studied in a life class as a young man with Mahonri Young, recently returned from Paris and New York.  The group had trouble finding models in that Mormon Community, and inspired by Young's contacts with the wider art world, often sat in the back room of Lollin's saloon to discuss their enthusiasms.

In 1907, Lawrence got his chance to go to Europe as a Mormon missionary, and from 1907 to 1910, was in France and Switzerland and other parts of Europe where "he proselytized, sketched and gallery-hopped his way across Europe and then asked his mother for enough financial support to travel another six months with Uncle Harry in France, Austrai, Germany, Holland and Italy." (100)

He returned to Utah for two years to save money, and then went to New York to the Art Students League to study with Kenneth Hayes Miller, Boardman Robinson, and George Bridgman.  He also worked as a furniture decorator.

He enlisted in the military in World War I, anxious to get back to Europe to see the museums, but it took him two tries because of physical problems.  In Flanders, he sustained lung damage from poison gas, which sent him home quickly and shortened his life to forty-one years.

The remaining years for him combined artistic accomplishment with frustration and physical decline.  He basically remained in Utah, but made frequent trips to the Veterans' Hospital in Palo Alto, California, and in 1924 was forced to move to Tucson, Arizona where he painted desert scenes, missions, and Indian ruins.  He also managed to take a trip to Mexico with his Uncle Harry Squires.

In 1925, he returned to Salt Lake City where he lived briefly with his widowed mother, but on January 28, 1928, simply passed away in his sleep.  His work is at the Capitol Building in Utah.

Vern Swanson, Robert Olpin and William Seifrit, Utah Art

Biography from Anthony's Fine Art:
Lawrence Squires was born in Salt Lake City in 1887.  Although his career was only fifteen years long, his technically proficient and sensitive style is well regarded in Utah art.  He died in Salt Lake City in 1928.

Sculptor Mahonri Young first recognized Squires’s artistic skill and became his instructor in 1905.  In 1907 Squires was called to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in France and Switzerland.  While he was in Europe, he had an opportunity to study the craftsmanship of the Old Masters.

After his time in Europe, Squires determined that he would become a painter.  In 1912, he enrolled in the Art Students League in New York where Kenneth Hayes Miller and Boardman Robinson were his instructors.  As a student in New York, the work of the impressionists further influenced Squires.  During that time, he became making a series of small etchings depicting people in everyday activities—a favorite of members of the Ashcan school.  Reading Lady (1917) is an example of his etching.

Squires served in the military during World War I (1918–19), and his health was compromised by his exposure to poison gas.  He returned to Salt Lake City in 1926 where he painted landscapes.  Skyscape (1923) and The Oblique Fence (1925) are examples of his work.

Reclining Girl was one of Squires’s paintings donated to the Denver Art Museum permanent collection.  Alpine Canyon (1921) and First Snowfall, City Creek Canyon (1927) are featured in the Springville Museum of Art permanent collection.

Utah Artists Project, University of Utah

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