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 Chester K. Van Nortwick  (1881 - 1944)

About: Chester K. Van Nortwick


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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/New Hampshire/Rhode Island      Known for: landscape and seascape painting, illustration and calendar art

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Chester K. Van Nortwick was born in Providence, RI on December 21, 1881 and died in Brewster, MA on October 8, 1944.  He was the son of George Washington van Nortwick, an accomplished and celebrated engraver.  

Chester lived in Colorado during his youth and served as staff artist on the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post.  He received private instruction for several years and then entered the Chicago Art Institute.

He spent many years in New Hampshire before moving to Cape Cod.  He had a studio in Provincetown and also one in Brewster where he lived.  He also had a studio in Clearwater, FL and exhibited extensively with the Clearwater Art Club and in St. Petersburg.  Newspaper clippings of the period he was showing his work praised him highly.  His painting entitled Jes’ Fishin was reproduced by the Gerlach-Barkow Company in Joliet.

He made his living through his art and was a noted illustrator and calendar artist.  His illustrative work is best seen in a book of fairy tales.  He is listed in the recently published book entitled Discovering  America’s Calendar Artists, 1900-1960.  That book was reviewed by Wayne Burett of USA Today Magazine who said “Chester K. van Nortwick did splendid versions of Mother Goose stories and other fairy tales.”

Chester did a series of fairies that is likened to and reminiscent of Maxfield Parrish with whom is often associated.  

His work ranges from landscapes and seascapes, to portraits, including one of Billy Burks, and commissioned works.  He worked in oils and pen and ink.  A dressing screen is in the permanent collection of the Provincetown Art Association.  

I compiled a collection of works by both Chester and his father George W. van Nortwick as a gift for my husband.  The compilation of Chester’s work includes the family collection as well as paintings I was able to locate in other collections, a total of 31 in all.

Newspaper clippings are available upon request but they do not indicate date or source of the newspaper.

Compiled by a family member of the artist.  Submitted February 2007.

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