Aaron Harry Gorson
Aaron Harry Gorson 1872 - 1933 was born in Lithuania and immigrated to the United States in 1890, where he joined his brother in Philadelphia. Gorson's work quickly attracted interest and in 1899, one of his patrons, Rabbi Levy, sent Gorson to study in Paris where he studied at the Academie Julien and the Academie Colarossi with many American art students. Gorson returned to Philadelphia only to follow Rabbi Levy to Pittsburgh in 1903. Gorson immediately fell in love with the industrial landscape reflecting in the rivers of Pittsburgh and focused on the spectacle of industry with the light effects of the blast furnaces on water. Painting the same scenes over and over, he was particularly drawn to nighttime when the contrast between light and dark was most dramatic. Gorson's use of thick, painterly brushwork built layers of impasto in minimal yet intense colors and made for near Whistlerian symphonic compositions that had little to do with the gritty reality of the steel mills. Gorson's industrial landscapes were highly regarded in Pittsburgh and beyond, and were widely collected and exhibited. In 1921, due to decreasing patronage for his industrial work, Gorson left Pittsburgh for New York, where he painted its architecture and rivers.