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Ernest Lawson

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Ernest Lawson

American, (1873–1939)
Born the son of a doctor in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Ernest Lawson (1873 - 1939) was raised by his aunt in Ontario and later joined his family who had moved to Kansas City, Missouri. After briefly studying at the Kansas City Art League, Lawson accompanied his father to Mexico, where he began working as a draftsman. In 1890, he moved to New York and entered the Art Students League, studying with the tonalist painters John Henry Twachtman and J. Alden Weir.
While there, Lawson developed an Impressionist inspired landscape style which was further developed with the guidance of the French impressionist painter, Alfred Sisley, whom Lawson met while studying at the Academie Julian in Paris, in 1894. His studio at Washington Heights, New York, had an excellent view of the Hudson River, which Lawson painted often. Lawson was a member of The Eight, participated in the 1910 Independent Artists Exhibition, and was elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design in New York in 1908. His works were exhibited often, winning many awards including the gold medal at the Carnegie International in 1921.
He painted this view of Pittsburgh when he came to the city in 1932 to jury an exhibition of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh. Like many newcomers, he was taken with the visual excitement of the city's steel mills, hilly terrain, bridges, and rivers and captured them in this oil painting. Also like many newcomers, Lawson confused the names of the three rivers and titled his piece, Mon River at Allegheny, Pa., when he was actually depicting the Allegheny River. His use of the "crushed jewel" palette for which he was so admired in fully visible in the color and light-filled canvas

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