Arthur Harold Lindberg

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Arthur Harold Lindberg (American, 1895-1977) realist artist, illustrator and teacher known for his romantic industrial cityscape and landscape paintings in oil or pastel. Many of his works feature industrial and factory sites, grain elevators, steel plants, oil refineries, power stations, bridges and companies that populated Buffalo, Western New York and Niagara areas during the 1940’s and 1950’s. He was a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists (served as president 1954-55), Buffalo, NY, the Art Students League (life member), NYC and the Art League of Nassau County, Long Island, NY. During the mid 1940’s through the mid 1950’s he exhibited in the annual Buffalo Society of Artists shows among other exhibitions. Later he refused to exhibit his own work for fear of being misunderstood and rejected for continuing as a realist in such pro-abstract surroundings. From 1941 to 1945 he taught art at Kenmore Senior High School, Kenmore, NY. He and his family took annual trips to Vermont on painting excursions on which his wife Esther Perry (neé Barlow), learned to paint under his tutelage. She became an accomplished watercolorist and was also an award winning quilter. Lindberg’s works can be found in the permanent collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, and the Burchfield-Penney Art Center, also in Buffalo.

At the age of twenty, Lindberg took art classes at Worcester Art Museum School in Worcester, MA and furthered his studies at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. In his third year at the Pratt Institute his studies were interrupted by a fourteen month tour of duty in France during World War I, where he served in the United States Air Force as a sergeant-major. After returning from the war Lindberg took art training at the Worcester Art Museum School as well as night classes in 1927. Circa the late 1920’s-early 30’s, he studied at the Grand Central School of Art in New York City under Harvey Thomas Dunn (American, 1884-1952) and Dean Cornwell (American, 1892-1960). Circa 1935 he studied at the Art Students League, also in New York City under Frank Vincent DuMond (American, 1865-1951) and George Brandt Bridgman (Canadian-American, 1865-1943). In 1936 he returned to the Pratt Institute and studied with Walter Otto Beck (American, 1864-1954) and later received his B.F.A. in 1939. Two years later in 1941 he received his M.A. from Columbia University, NYC. From 1944-45 he worked summers in Texas for the U.S. Army as a camouflage artist During World War II.

For Arthur Lindberg, the turning-point of his painting career began with a trip to Buffalo in 1939 and the experiencing of his own “silo dreams.” According to his widow, he had an ecstatic moment of inspiration due to the immense visual impact of the industrial landscape along the Buffalo River, Lake Erie, and the entire Niagara Frontier. It was this stunning vision that “just bowled him over” and shaped the direction of his art for the next ten years.[1]

Chronology:

1895- Born, Worcester, MA, son of a Swedish immigrant metal worker, father Karl Johan Lindberg and mother Emma Christine (neé Olsson).

1909- First job at the age of fourteen working 54 hours a week at ten cents an hour at the Goddard Works of the Wickwire-Spencer Company, Worchester, MA.

1915- Graduated from high school at the age of twenty. Took art classes at Worcester Art Museum School, Worcester, MA. Furthered studies at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and paid for it working a night job at Wickwire-Spencer’s New York plant.

1917- Enlisted in the United States Air Force during his third year at the Pratt Institute and served for fourteen months in France as a Sergeant-Major in World War I.

1922- Returned to Worcester after the war and worked for Wickwire-Spence again and took art classes at the Worcester Museum School, Worcester, MA.

1927- Married Esther Perry (neé Barlow), the daughter of his boss and moved to New York (the new location of Wickwire-Spencer’s head office). He continued industrial work and resumed art studies at night.

circa 1930- Studied at Grand Central School of Art in NYC under Harvey Thomas Dunn (American, 1884-1952) and Dean Cornwell (American, 1892-1960).

circa early 1930’s- Worked as a commercial artist in NYC and painted landscapes out of his Long Island studio.

1935- Studied at the Art Students League, NYC under Frank Vincent DuMond (American, 1865-1951) and George Brandt Bridgman (Canadian-American, 1865-1943).

1936- Returned to the Pratt Institute and studied with Walter Otto Beck (American, 1864-1954), Brooklyn, NY.

1939- Received his B.F.A. from the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY.

1941- Received M.A. from Columbia University, NYC. Moved to Buffalo, NY (his in-laws had already moved there as a result of Wickwire-Spencer’s relocation in 1939). Lindberg viewed an exhibition at the Albright Art Gallery titled “Industrial Buffalo” which featured the industrial landscape of the Buffalo River, Lake Erie and Niagara Frontier, and it was the turning point of his artistic career.

1941-43- Worked summers in steel factories in Western New York doing defense production.

1941-45- Taught art at Kenmore Senior High School, Kenmore, NY.

1944-45- Worked summers in Texas for the U.S. Army as a camouflage artist during World War II.

circa mid 1940’s- Elected to Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.

circa mid 1940’s-mid 50’s- Exhibited, in the annual Buffalo Society of Artists shows, Buffalo, NY.

1946-48- Obtained permission from the City of Buffalo to enter industrial sites which were previously restricted due to defense work, and executed a series of fifty paintings, Buffalo, NY.

1947- Exhibited, solo show, “Our Industrial Waterfront”, 30 paintings, Carl Bredemeier Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Was presented with the “Frontiersman” award by the Buffalo Business Magazine, Buffalo, NY.

from the late 1940’s- Devoted his retirement years to art and taught private classes. He also cleaned and restored paintings and took summer trips to New England. He became increasingly frustrated and disillusioned by the emphasis on and support of abstract art in the Buffalo community.

1954-55- Served as president of the Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.

from the mid 1950’s- He refused to exhibit his own work for fear of being misunderstood and rejected for continuing as a realist in such pro-abstract surroundings.

1977- Died, Kenmore, NY.

1982- Exhibited, retrospective show, “Beauty in Buffalo Industry”, at the International Institute, Buffalo, NY.

1984- Exhibited, (retrospective) group show, “Buffalo’s Waterfront”, Burchfield Center (now the Burchfield-Penney Art Center), Buffalo State University College, Buffalo, NY.

1987- Exhibited, (retrospective) group show and in the catalog of same name, “The Wayward Muse: A Historical Survey of Painting in Buffalo”, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, by Susan Krane, Curator, and with catalog essays by Ms. Krane and William H. Gerdts, Buffalo, NY.

1987-88- Exhibited, retrospective show, “Arthur Harold Lindberg (1895-1977): Romantic Industrial Landscape Painter Rediscovered”, Linda Hyman Fine Arts, NYC.

1996- His wife Esther died in her home at the age of 94, Thursday, February 22, Kenmore, NY. Nov. 28-Dec. 18, exhibited, group show, "Bygone Buffalo: Paintings and Drawings by Early and Mid-20th Century Regionalists", Lindberg's painting "Buffalo River" was shown, Fanette Goldman/Carolyn Greenfield Art Gallery, Daeman College, 4380 Main St., Amherst, NY.

Memberships: Buffalo Society of Artists (served as president 1954-55), Buffalo, NY; Art Students League (life member), NYC; Art League of Nassau County, Long Island, NY.

Prizes: “Frontiersman” award by the Buffalo Business Magazine, Buffalo, NY.

Collections: Albright-Knox Art Gallery permanent collection, Buffalo, NY; Burchfield-Penney Art Center, for the painting “Marine Elevator A” (1947), oil on canvas board, Buffalo, NY.

Galleries: Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY.

Publications: The Artists Bluebook: 34,000 North American Artists to March 2005, by AskART.com Inc. - Lonnie Pierson Dunbier (Editor), 2005; Davenport's Art Reference: The Gold Edition, by Ray Davenport, 2005; Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975; by Peter Hastings Falk (Editor), 1999; Art Across America: New England, New York, Mid-Atlantic, Volume 1, by William H. Gerdts, 1990; The Wayward Muse: A Historical Survey of Painting in Buffalo, by Susan Krane, Curator, 1987; Arthur Harold Lindberg: Romantic Industrial Landscape Rediscovered, by Linda Hyman, 1987; Mantle Fielding's Dictionary: American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers, Glenn B. Opitz (Editor), 1986; Who Was Who in American Art, Artists Active Between 1898-1947, by Peter Hastings Falk (Editor), 1985; Dictionary of American Artists, by Glenn B. Opitz, 1982; Index of Artists: International-Biographical, Two Volumes: Includes 1940 Index, by Danial Trowbridge Mallett, 1935.

For possible additional information or images from this artist, please visit the AskArt link.

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