Ripley Auctions

Lot 135

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Description: Edmund Greacen
(American, 1873/76-1949/51)
still life with flowers and Staffordshire pottery
oil on canvas
signed lower right.

Biography from the archives of AskArt: Born in 1876 and raised in New York City at the site of what is now Rockefeller Center, Edmund Greacen became a master of American impressionism. Using vibrant, diffused and muted color, he achieved a reputation for shimmering landscape and figure paintings of young women. He is also distinguished as one of the founders in 1924 of the Grand Central Art School in New York City and served as the Director for twenty years.

He earned a Bachelor's Degree from New York University and then took an around-the-world tour, arranged by his father who wanted his son distracted from a fascination with soldiering in the Spanish American War.

In 1899, he enrolled at the Art Students League and also studied with William Merritt Chase at The Chase School where he learned plein-air painting. In the early 1900s, he and his wife, Ethol Booth, took a trip with Chase to Spain, and then the couple settled from 1907 to 1909 at Giverny, France, near the home of Claude Monet, and were part of the famous colony of Impressionists. There Greacen painted garden scenes that were vivid in color.

The couples' son, Edmund William Jr, who became an industrial designer, was born in Paris in 1906. Their daughter, Nan Greacen, was born in Giverny in 1909, and became a well-known floral still life painter.

The family moved back to New York in 1910, although they spent their summers at Old Lyme, Connecticut, living at the Florence Griswold House. In 1911, they also traveled to Bermuda.

During World War I, Edmund Greacen served briefly in the army, and in 1922 suggested a gallery cooperative situation whereby established artists could have their work on permanent exhibition. This venue became the Grand Central Art Galleries, subsequently in the Biltmore Hotel, and his involvement kept him more and more in New York City and ended his time at the Old Lyme Colony.

In 1935, Greacen achieved full membership in the National Academy of Design. Shortly after a series of strokes impaired his health, he and his wife moved to Florida, but they could not stand the heat.

Living to age 73, Greacen died in 1949.

Sources include:
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art
Renee Faure, grand daughter of the artist, information to AskART
27 1/2"H x 21 1/4" W (image) 36"H x 30"W (frame)

  • Dimensions: 27 1/2"H x 21 1/4" W (image) 36"H x 30"W (frame)
  • Artist Name: Edmund Greacen
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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November 7, 2020 11:00 AM EST

Indianapolis, IN, US

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