Thursday, January 27, 2011

On the Web: Eldon Artist George Shane

Last week we learned about Ottumwa artists who studied with Grant Wood at the Stone City Art Colony. I received many responses from readers, and one introduced me to an artist from Eldon.

George Walker Shane was born in Eldon in 1906. As a journalist for the Des Moines Register, Shane often wrote about art. His combined interests in art and writing allowed him to travel to Venice and Mexico, sending articles back to be printed in the Register.

Shane was an involved member of the arts community in Des Moines. In 1951, Shane had a solo exhibition at the Des Moines Art Center. This activity and his career as a journalist introduced him to some very famous artists, including Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali, pictured with Shane on a visit to Iowa in 1952.

As with many of the artists we’ve covered, George Shane’s paintings were realistic and featured his immediate surroundings. He was interested in small town Iowa, depicting scenes of town squares and courthouses. Century farms were his main focus, and these paintings were very popular with Iowans. Again he was able to combine his interests in writing and art by researching the histories of the farms he painted. His series on hundred-year-old farms was printed in the Sunday Register, each painting accompanied by an historical article.

Thank you to the reader who alerted me to George Shane’s work. Keep the comments coming!

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