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George Wharton Edwards   Click Images to Enlarge

George Wharton Edwards
Fiesta de San Jose,Texas
Oil on canvas
24 x 20 in.
George Wharton Edwards

(American, 1859-1950)

George Wharton Edwards was born in Fair Haven, Connecticut, in 1859 and died in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1950. He was a painter and author of books regarding American history and European customs. He lived in Paris prior to 1892, New York City (1892-1902), Plainfield, New Jersey and Greenwich and was known for his unique handling of impressionism and for his marine paintings of fishermen, lobstermen and boats along the Monhegan shoreline.

Edwards was educated at Antwerp and Paris (1881-1884). In Paris, he studied under Eugene Fayen and Cancale. By 1890, he was painting on Monhegan. He was an Associate of the National Academy and a member of the American Water Color Society; National Institute of Arts and Letters; Allied American Artists and Painters and the Sculptors' Gallery Association. From 1898-1903 Edwards was Art Director for Collier's and later was manager of the Art Department for the American Bank Note Company (1904-1912). He won medals in Boston (1884 and 1890) for drawings and repeated his success with paintings at the 1901 Buffalo Exposition; the 1902 South Carolina Exposition; the Barcelona Exposition; and he won the King Albert gold medal in 1920; the Golden Palms of the French Academy in 1921 and more.

Edwards' mural Henrik Hudson is at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He illustrated Oliver Wendell Holmes' Last Leaf; Austin Dobson’s Sun Dial and Old English Ballads and travel books on London (1921); Paris (1924); Rome (1928) and more. He was the author of Vanished Halls and Cathedrals of France; Vanished Towers & Chimes of Flanders; Marken and Its People; Some Old Flemish Towns; Holland of Today and many other books.

Edwards was made Knight Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor (1925); knighted with the Order de la Couronne Belge, 1927; and the Royal Order of Knight Chevalier Spanish Order of Isabella from Alfonso XIII, Spain, 1928; and Knight Chevalier, Royal Order of the Crown of Italy, 1929, for achievements in painting and historical writings. He was awarded a medal of the Order of the King of Belgium, the honor being conferred to him by the king.

Edwards' work is represented in the permanent collections at the Bruce Museum (Greenwich, CT); Houston Museum of Fine Arts (TX); Hispanic Society (NY); Springfield Art Museum (MO); High Museum of Art (GA); Luxembourg Museum, Paris (mural); U.S. Military Academy (West Point, mural); Museum of Arts and Sciences, Norfolk (VA); the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) and more.

References: Who Was Who in American Art, vol. 1, p. 1018; Who's Who in American Art (through 1947); Fink, American Art at the Nineteenth Century Paris Salons, 340; Exhibition of the National Academy, 1861-1900; The Annual Exhibition Record of the Art Institute of Chicago, pp. 300-301.