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George Gardner Symons
1861 - 1930
George Garner Symons New England Forest Midsized Thumbnail
New England Forest
George Garner Symons Seacoast Midsized Thumbnail
Sea Coast

George Gardner Symons was born in Chicago with the name George Gardner Simon. In an attempt to avoid anti-semitism, he changed his last name to Symons. He attended the Chicago Art Institute, where he met his life long friend, William Wendt. In 1884, he made his first trip to California and was impressed. After study in Paris,

 

 

 
George Gardner Symons Photo

Munich and London, and after working in commercial art for a time in Chicago, George moved to California with William Wendt, and they built a studio south of Laguna Beach.

George was strictly a plein air painter. Frequently, he would make treks to the Arizona desert and the Grand Canyon, but he is best known for snowy scenes of New England.

George Gardner Symons Trees Hills and Brook Midsized Thumbnail
Trees, Hills and Brook


It's amazing that in an age long before frequent flyer miles, he maintained bi-coastal existence, with studios in California, New York City and in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. His work resides in the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and many other museums.

Sources: AskArt; Artists in California 1786 - 1940, Edan Milton Hughes, 3d ed. ; Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"; Anonymous Author, "The Outlook for Etching", The American Magazine of Art, March 1930.

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