John F. Carlson
Artist: John F. Carlson
Title: Shadowy Haunts
Medium: Oil on Canvas 40" x 50"
John Fabian Carlson was born in Kalmar, Smaland, Sweden in 1874. He was a landscape painter and master art teacher. As a young child in Sweden, Carlson was introduced to art by an uncle who decorated carriages with landscapes. At the age of twelve, he moved with his family to Buffalo, New York. He first apprenticed with a lithographer and afterwards became employed by Cosack & Company as a lithographer to help support his family.
Carlson’s formal training began at The Albright School of Art where he studied under Lucious Hitchcock. He then earned a scholarship to the Art Students League in New York and studied under the acclaimed master teacher, Frank Vincent DuMond.
After two years at The Art Student League, he continued his studies at Byrdcliffe, a fledgling art colony (later known as The Woodstock Artists Association). There he studied under Birge Harrison, soon there after, Harrison hired Carlson as his assistant. In 1911, he became the school’s director. Carlson brought enrollment to over 100 students by the time he retired from that position in 1918.
In June 1920, Carlson and his family moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Carlson, who by that time had earned national recognition, was appointed director of the newly established Broadmoor Academy where he spent two summers teaching landscape painting along side of the equally renowned artist, Robert Reid.
In 1922, he returned to Woodstock where he established the John F. Carlson School of Landscape Painting, being appointed by The Art Students League. This began Carlson’s lifelong reputation as the master of the Woodstock school of painting.
In 1928, Carlson published an instructional book titled Elementary Principles of Landscape Paintings, subsequently reprinted as Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting in 1953, 1958 and 1970. This book has served as a bible for generations of landscape artists. He was known for the harmonious color schemes of his tonalist landscapes, and his delicate glazing technique to create the subtle atmosphere of a tranquil forest under snow.
Carlson exhibited quite successfully during his lifetime including at The Art Institute of Chicago (1905-1929), Swedish National Museum, Stockholm, 1920, The National Academy of Design, NYC (1907-1944) awards including The Carnegie prize, 1918, The Ranger Fund prize, 1923 and The Altman prize, 1936. He also exhibited at The Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1910-1943, The Swedish American Exhibit, Chicago, 1911(first prize), The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art 1911-1931, The Salmagundi Club, NYC, 1912 1st Isidor prize and Vezi prize for watercolor 1923, Shaw watercolor prize 1925, Memorial Art Gallery, NYC, 1913, The Pan-Pacific Expo, 1915(silver medal) and many more.
He was a member of many prestigious art organizations, including being made an Associate Member of The National Academy in 1911 and a Full Member in 1925. He was also a member of The New York Watercolor Club, The American Watercolor Club, The Salmagundi Club, The Connecticut Academy of Fine Art, The National Arts Club, NYC, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art (fellow) and The Colorado Springs Fine Art Center (Broadmoor Art Academy).
John Fabian Carlson died in New York City in 1945.
Numerous retrospective exhibits have been held after Carlson’s death from 1945 through the 1990s.
Today, his works can be found in important private and public collections, including at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Carnegie Institute, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Brooks Memorial Gallery, Memphis, The Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey, The Fort Worth Academy of Art and many other public venues