Nina R. Gaskin

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Nina R. Gaskin (American, 1903-1994) Using Western New York as her subject, Nina specialized in oil landscapes. Nina Rose (née Cordiner) Gaskin was born in Watertown, NY to Arthur Johnson Cordiner (1877-1918), a commercial painter and Maud M. (née Milligan) Cordiner (1882-1907). Nina’s father Arthur had immigrated to the United States from Scotland in 1897 and settled in Watertown, NY where he worked as a commercial painter for the Babcock Carriage Works where he met and married Maud M. Milligan. Nina was born on June 22, 1903, and the family resided at 14-A Arsenal Street and soon after at 84-A Rutland Avenue.

 

At some point within a few years of Nina’s birth, around 1905-07, Nina’s mother and father moved to 38 North Wabash Street (Ward 7) Wheeling, WV where he continued to work as a commercial painter. For reasons unknown, Nina was left in the care of her widowed maternal grandmother Mrs. Rose A. Milligan (1852-1934) who resided at 611 Emerson Street, Watertown, NY.  A few years later on January 22, 1907 Nina’s mother Maud passed at the young age of twenty-five in Wheeling due to complications from labor of a stillborn child and pneumonia. Maud’s body was returned to Watertown and she was interned in North Watertown Cemetery, Watertown, NY. On February 9, 1910, Arthur Cordiner married Anna C. (née Glynn, sometimes listed as Glenn) Cordiner (1888-1967) They had one child Evelyn Cordiner-Olsen (1912-1967).

 

Nina’s early education was in the public schools of Watertown where she graduated from Watertown High School. She studied at the Syracuse University School of Art for one year, Syracuse, NY. From about 1920-1930, Nina worked as a clerk and also a telephone operator at the local offices of the New York Telephone Company in Watertown, NY. On November 20, 1926, Nina married the Watertown Standard newspaper telegraph editor, Robert DeVolson Gaskin (1904-1987), a native of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, in the Emmanuel Congregational Church, Watertown, NY. The couple had four sons, Robert Richard Gaskin (1928-2012), Roger Lee Gaskin (1931-2006), Thomas Peter Gaskin (1932-1989), and David Allen Gaskin (1936-2014).

 

Sometime around 1930, at the start of the Great Depression the family moved to Kenmore, NY where Nina’s husband began working as an editor and writer for the Buffalo Courier-Express newspaper. Circa 1935, the family moved to East Aurora, NY where they resided for over fifty-nine years, including homes at 124 South Grove Street and later at 595 South Street. Circa the early 1940’s, Nina began formal art studies in painting with noted artists, Edgar Kowalski (American, 1891-1968) for three years and his brother Arthur Kowalski (American, 1893-1958) for twelve years. She also took classes with Carlo Nisita as a student of the Adult Education Program in East Aurora, NY from 1952-53, and won a scholarship in 1953 for a one year art class at the Art Institute of Buffalo.

 

Nina was a member of and exhibited regularly with the Fine Arts League of Buffalo (Prizes) where she also served as vice president for many years, as well as with the Guild of Allied Arts (Prizes) and the East Aurora Art Society in their outdoor shows. She also exhibited in and around Western New York at the Erie County Fair, in branch lobbies of several local banks, libraries and schools. Her husband was also an artist and exhibited with Nina in various shows around the region. In her free time she enjoyed antique collecting, especially Quimper pottery and gardening, specializing in iris hybrids. Nina painted throughout the rest of her life, putting down her brush only six months before she passed at the age of ninety-one in Mercy Hospital, Buffalo, NY and is buried in New Hampshire.

 

 

Chronology:

 

1903- June 22, born to commercial painter Arthur Johnson Cordiner (1877-1918) and Maud M. (née Milligan, sometimes listed as Maude) Cordiner (1882-1907), the family resided about that time at 14-A Arsenal Street, Watertown, NY.

 

By 1905- Nina’s father was working as a painter/sign painter and the family resided at 84-A Rutland Avenue in Watertown, NY.

 

Circa 1905-1907- At some point after Nina’s birth, her father and mother moved to Wheeling, WV, and resided at 38 North Wabash Street (Ward 7) and for reasons unknown, they had left Nina in the care of her widowed grandmother (Maud’s mother) Mrs. Rose A. (née McGunn, AKA Rosa) Milligan (1852-1934 [Mrs. Albert R. Milligan]) who resided at 611 Emerson Street, Watertown, NY.

 

1907- January 22, Nina’s mother Maud passed at the young age of twenty-five in Wheeling due to complications from labor of a stillborn child and pneumonia. Maud’s body was returned to Watertown and she was interned in North Watertown Cemetery, Watertown, NY.

 

1910- February 9, Nina’s father Arthur married Anna C. (née Glynn, sometimes Glenn) Cordiner (1888-1967) and they had one child Evelyn Cordiner-Olsen (1912-1967) but never returned to Watertown, NY.

 

1918- June 23, Nina’s father Arthur J. Cordiner passed away from complications of dilated cardiomyopathy and contributing interstitial nephritis, Wheeling, WV, and is buried in Peninsula Cemetery, Wheeling, WV. December 16 Nina published a song titled “My Dream Girl with Eyes of Blue”, lyrics by Nina Cordiner and music by E.S.S. Huntington, Watertown, NY.

 

From c.1920- c.1930- Nina worked as a clerk and then a telephone operator at the local offices of the New York Telephone Company, Watertown, NY.

 

Circa 1921- Graduated from Watertown High School, Watertown, NY.

 

Circa 1922- Studied for one year at the Syracuse School of Art, Syracuse, NY.

 

1926- November 20, Nina married the Watertown Standard newspaper telegraph editor and also an artist, Robert DeVolson Gaskin (1904-1987) in the Emmanuel Congregational Church, Watertown, NY with the ceremony preformed by Rev. H.L. Pyle. After their marriage the couple went on their honeymoon trip through the southern part of New York State and thereafter resided at 20 Emerson Street in Watertown, NY.

 

1928- November 29, their son Robert Richard Gaskin was born, Watertown, NY.

 

Circa 1930- At the start of the Great Depression the family moved to Kenmore, NY where Nina’s husband had accepted a position working as an editor and writer for the Buffalo Courier Express newspaper.

 

1931- July 5, their son Roger Lee Gaskin was born, Buffalo, NY.

 

1932- October 6, their son Thomas Peter Gaskin was born, Buffalo, NY.

 

1934- Nina’s Grandmother Rose A. Milligan passed away and is buried in North Watertown Cemetery, Watertown, NY.

 

Circa 1935- The family moved to East Aurora, NY where they resided for over fifty-nine years.

 

1936- March 31, their son David Allen Gaskin was born, East Aurora, NY.

 

Circa the early 1940’s- Nina began formal art studies in painting with noted artists, Edgar Kowalski (American, 1891-1968) for three years and his brother Arthur Kowalski (American, 1893-1958) for twelve years.

 

1952- April 28-May 11, exhibited, group show, “Exhibition by Students of the Adult Education Program”, taught by noted Buffalo artist Carlo Nisita (Italian-born American, 1895-1990), Nina’s painting “Old Bridge” shown, held at the East Aurora Free Public Library, East Aurora, NY.

 

1952-1953- Nina took classes with Carlo Nisita as a student of the Adult Education Program in East Aurora, NY. 

 

1953- May 25-31, exhibited, group show (Won Second Place One-year Scholarship for One Class & Honorable Mention in Oils Class), “Art Institute of Buffalo’s Tri-Town Art Show”, for the oil painting “Covered Bridge”, held at Orchard Downs, Orchard Park, NY. August 29-30, exhibited, group show, “2nd Annual Exhibition of the Outdoor Mart”, East Aurora High School campus, East Aurora, NY.

 

1954- May 8-22, exhibited, group show (Second Prize), “41st Annual Show of the Guild of Allied Arts”, for her oil painting “Going Home”, Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY.

 

1955- May 14-28, exhibited, group show (Honorable Mention), “42nd Annual Show of the Guild of Allied Arts”, for her oil painting “Old Barn”, Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY.

 

1958- April 29, exhibited, group show, Paintings by Arthur Kowalski and Thirty of His Students, Nina had three paintings in the show to include “Late Afternoon”, “Rain Clouds” and “Apple Blossom” and her husband Robert had two paintings to include a still life “Reuben’s” and marine scene titled “Port Maitland Fog”, J.N. Adams & Co., Buffalo, NY.

 

1960- September 11-25, exhibited, group show (Third Prize), “Sixth Annual Exhibition of the Fine Arts League”, for her landscape painting “January Day”, Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY.

 

1961- September 10-24, exhibited, group show (Gold Medal), “Seventh Annual Exhibition of the Fine Arts League”, for her oil painting “Old Barn”, Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY.

 

1962- September 9-23, exhibited, group show (Bocour Art Material Award), “Eighth Annual Exhibition of the Fine Arts League”, Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY.

 

1964- September 20-October 4, exhibited, group show, “Tenth Annual Exhibition of the Fine Arts League”, Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY.

 

1965- August 21-28, exhibited, group show, Erie County Fair, for an untitled oil painting of a ‘Winter Scene’, Hamburg Fairgrounds, Hamburg, NY.

 

1967- September 24-October 6, exhibited, group show ($25 Prize), “13th Annual Exhibition of the Fine Arts League”, for her painting “Summer Scene”, Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY.

 

1968- May 8-25, exhibited, group show, “14th Annual Spring Exhibition of the Fine Arts League”, for the landscape painting of maple sugar time titled “Winter Scene”, Boulevard Mall, Amherst, NY.

 

1969- May 9-24, exhibited, group show, “15th Annual Spring Exhibition of the Fine Arts League”, for the landscape paintings “Two Willows”, Boulevard Mall, Amherst, NY. October 26-30, exhibited, solo show, Orchard Park High School, Orchard Park, NY. November 12-23, exhibited, group show ($25 Prize), “15th Annual Exhibition of the Fine Arts League”, for two landscape paintings “Summer Scene” and “Pond in Orchard Park”, Main Place Mall, Buffalo, NY.

 

1972- October 1, exhibited, group show, Colden Valley Art Fest, Colden, NY.

 

1983- July 7-31, exhibited, solo show of oil paintings shown, Elma Library 1860 Bowen Rd., Elma NY.

 

1987- April, Nina’s husband died, East Aurora, NY.

 

1989- November 1, their son Thomas P. Gaskin passed away at the Community-General Hospital in Syracuse, NY.

 

1994- December 15, Nina passed away at the age of ninety-one after a long illness in Mercy Hospital, Buffalo, NY and she is buried New Hampshire (where her son David lived).

 

2006- March 29, their son Roger L. Gaskin passed away, Lakeland, FL.

 

2012- November 27, their son Robert R. Gaskin died, Tigard, OR.

 

2014- September 20, their son David A. Gaskin passed away at his home in Lebanon, NH and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Enfield, NH.

 

 

Memberships/Associations: The Fine Arts League of Buffalo, also served as vice president for many years, Buffalo, NY; Guild of Allied Arts, Buffalo, NY; East Aurora Art Society, East Aurora, NY.

 

Prizes, Awards & Honors: Won Second Place One-year Scholarship of One Class at the Art Institute of Buffalo & Honorable Mention in Oils, at the “Art Institute of Buffalo’s Tri-Town Art Show”, held at Orchard Downs, Orchard Park, NY, 1953; Second Prize for her oil painting “Going Home” at the “41st Annual Show of the Guild of Allied Arts”, Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY 1954; Honorable Mention for her oil painting “Old Barn” at the “42nd Annual Show of the Guild of Allied Arts”, Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY 1955; Third Prize for her painting “January Day” at the “Sixth her landscape painting “January Day”, Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY, 1960; Gold Medal at the “Seventh Annual Exhibition of the Fine Arts League”, Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY, 1961; Bocour Art Material Award, at the “Eighth Annual Exhibition of the Fine Arts League”, Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY, 1962; $25 Prize, “13th Annual Exhibition of the Fine Arts League”, Museum of Science, Buffalo, NY, 1967.

(Written & compiled by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, East Aurora, NY, 14052, meibohmfinearts.com. Sources: Too long to list here and are furnished upon request.)

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