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 George Alfred Williams  (1875 - 1932)

About: George Alfred Williams
 

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Lived/Active: New Jersey/Maine      Known for: illustrator, genre, landscape, figure

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George Alfred Williams
An example of work by George Alfred Williams
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography, submitted September 2004, has been provided by Jeff Lloyd with informationfrom James R. Williams, grandson of the artist.

George Alfred Williams was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1875. Engaged in a large mechanical business from ages seventeen to twenty, he spent his spare time in drawing and painting, without formal instruction. Watercolors made at this time were accepted by the American Watercolor Society.

Mr. Alexander W. Drake, art editor of the "Century Magazine", then encouraged him to give up a business career, and procured a commission to illustrate for the "St. Nicholas Magazine". After this he entered the Art Students League under Douglas Volk and Kenyon Cox, and later painted with William Merritt Chase.

Commissions for the "Century Magazine" then followed, the first important one being a drawing on "The East Side" for an article by Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer. This led to commissions from "Scribner's" and "Harper's" among others. Mr. Williams then made illustrations for editions of the English classics, such as Smollet, Fielding, Dickens, and Defoe, published by the University Press; also decorations and illustrations for Richard Le Gallienne's translation of Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde."

These illustrations were later purchased by the Newark Museum Association, New Jersey. At the completion of this work in 1909, Mr. Williams devoted his time exclusively to painting, exhibiting at the National Academy and at the Society of American Artists. A group of small figure paintings and landscapes, hung together in the American Watercolor Society in 1900, received such favorable attention that Mr.
Williams "felt that in these works he had but found the key to his personal expression."

The next ten years were devoted to developing his watercolor skills, and at the end of that period he had a special exhibition in the galleries of Mr. N. E. Montross. These were all small pictures, but in 1914, he completed his first large figure composition, "The Drama of Life - The Marginal Way," purchased by the Art Institute, Chicago. In 1915 he received a silver medal at the Panama Pacific Exposition. Other work is found in many private collections here and abroad.

In addition to his painting Mr. Williams has written many essays on art, including "American Marine Painters," "American Painters of Children," and "Robert Havell, the Engraver of Audubon's 'The Birds of America'".

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.


George Williams is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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