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William Edward Norton

American Artist (1843-1916)


'On the Rockaways Beach'

Oil on Canvas

7.5 x 11.5 in.


Chrysler Museum of Art, Virginia.;

Farnsworth Art Museum, Maine.;

Lowe Art Museum, Florida;

Peabody Essex Museum, Mass.;

Smithsonian Museum, Washington D.C. 

Born in Boston, Norton quickly became enamored with the sea and specialized in maritime painting.  He studied with George Inness at the Lowell Institute, and established a studio in Boston,  which was an immediate success.   He was able to finance his art studies in Europe from the sale of his paintings, moved to Paris in 1870 and finally settled in London where his work was exhibited in reputable galleries to great acclaim from 1875 to 1898.

His work was exhibited in the Paris Salon, then the most prestigious venue for an artist, where he was awarded an  Honorary Mention as in 1900.  He returned to Boston where he would represent the U.S. at the International Expo in 1900, winning the coveted Osorne Prize for marine painting in 1905 and 1906.  He would always try to capture the breezy spontaneity of ‘making finished pictures out-of-doors, instead of making sketches.” (Chicago Daily Tribune, July 31, 1893) and he would never tire of depicting the vibrancy and luminosity of the sea.


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