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Wilson Henry Irvine

(1869-1936)

Landscape painter

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Biography

At the turn of the century, noted American Impressionist Wilson Henry Irvine studied art formally and exhibited landscapes in group shows at The Art Institute of Chicago and elsewhere in the area. By 1911, Irvine was an important presence in Chicago art circles, becoming president of the Chicago Society of Artists and later the chairman of the Chicago Commission for the Encouragement of Local Art. During this period, Irvine was spending his summers painting in the Northeast, mainly in Connecticut. In 1918, he moved to Connecticut permanently, becoming a highly active member of the renowned Old Lyme art colony and a very successful artist. As Irvine became more and more engaged in landscape painting, he traveled frequently throughout the United States and Europe in search of new painting sites. Irvine spent the winter of 1927-28 in New Orleans, when the work being offered was painted. He told a journalist that the reason he had come to New Orleans was that twenty-five years ago he had a passion for reading George W. Cable and never forgot. The reporter wrote that Irvine "had a mild word of praise for the renovated courts of the quarter, but kept his unstinted encomium for the old grey places where the walls are decaying." Irvine told the journalist that he intended to return to New Orleans every winter. However, that visit during the winter of 1927-28 was his only trip. The paintings Irvine made during that visit are lovely depictions of the French Quarter and rural environs surrounding New Orleans that rarely surface in the marketplace.

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Impressionism (85)

Impressionism: American (67)

Lyme Art Colony (9)