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Byron Browne   Click Images to Enlarge

Byron Browne
Blue Nude
Mixed media on paper
25 x 20 in.
Byron Browne
Circus Figures

Watercolor, gouache, graphite on paper

19 ½ x 24 ½ inches

Byron Browne

(American, 1907-1961)

Byron Browne was a painter, designer and sculptor born in Yonkers, New York in 1907. He died in 1961 in New York City a celebrated modernist and was a founder of the Abstract American Artists Group (1938). He studied at the National Academy of Design, NYC (1924-1928) and with Karfunkle, Aiken and Zorach. He was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists Group; American Artists Congress; Allied American Artists, the Salon of America and the Yonkers Art Association. He won his first prize at the National Academy in 1928 and many other prizes followed. From 1933-1970, he was given over 60 solo exhibitions and his reputation grew by leaps and bounds.

In 1927 Browne began to experiment with abstraction and he later destroyed all of his earlier representational canvases because he thought it was too old hat and tainted. During the mid-thirties he was a Works Project Administration (WPA) painter and he became extremely active in the American Abstract Artists Group. During the 1930s, he was highly influence by the work of Picasso and Cezanne and painted in the Cubist style and by the 1940s he was painting in a biomorphic style influenced by Arp and Miro. From 1952-1961 Browne was active in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he combined both painting styles in a gestural manner in murals and he carved stone memorials. He was instructor of painting at the Arts Student's League (NYC) from 1948-1959 and taught Advanced Painting at New York University from 1959 until his death in 1961.

His work is represented at the Art Student's League, NYC, Brooklyn Museum, Brown University, Butler Institute of American Art, Chrysler Museum at Norfolk (VA), Cornell University, Dallas Museum of Art, Everson Museum of Art at Syracuse, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA, Hudson River Museum of Westchester, Yonkers, NY, Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN, Joe and Emily Lowe Art Museum, Syracuse, NY, Joseph H. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, Milwaukee Art Center, WI, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO, State University College, New Paltz, NY, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, University of Rochester, NY, University of Texas, Austin, TX, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, Wichita State University, KS and more.

Note: His birth name is George Byron Browne and many of his early works during the 1920's are signed in that manner.

References : Marlor, Clark S., The Salons of America, 1822-1936 (Sound View Press, Madison, CT, 1991), p. 46; Who Was Who in American Art, vol. I, p. 475; New York City WPA Art, 14 (with illustrations); American Abstract Art, p. 178; Who's Who in American Art, 1940, 1947, 1959; Byron Browne, exhibition catalogue, David Findley Gallery, n.d.; Byron Browne, a Seminal American Modernist, Paintings & Drawings, 1929-1961 by Jim Rogers (Melvin Art Gallery of Florida Southern College, 2001); Archives of American Art, vol. 19, no. 4 (1979), Byron Browne in the Thirties—The Battle for Abstract Art by April J. Paul, pp. 9-24.