Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The art of George Lawrence Nelson in Kent

Portrait of the Hirschberg/Nelson family by George Laurence Nelson, Kent Historical Society

The Seven Hearths, the Kent Historical Society Museum, will re-open this summer after being closed for two years with a series of new art exhibits focusing on the life and work of George Laurence Nelson. The Seven Hearths Museum is located on Rte. 7 north of Kent center on the corner of Studio Hill Road in Kent in the historic Flanders area that was once the original center of Kent.

George Laurence Nelson, trained at the Art Students League and the National Academy, and began teaching at the Art Students League in his early 20s. Nelson was among the founders of the Litchfield Hills Art Colony, and later one of the nine founders of the Kent Art Association. 

The Litchfield Hills Art Colony played a meaningful role on a national scale in twentieth century American art. George Laurence Nelson's studio in Seven Hearths is the only remnant of the colony that is open to the public today.

Set within Nelson's beloved pre-Revolutionary Seven Hearths, which he donated to the Historical Society located on Rte. 7 in Kent Connecticut in the heart of the Litchfield Hills, the Historical Society is presenting three changing exhibits of Nelson’s work in August, September and October.

Floral Painting by Nelson

The August exhibit beginning on the 3rd and running through the 25th will feature large and interesting selection of Nelson portraits.  He made his money by doing portraits, and the subjects range from well-known celebrities such as Arturo Toscanini, to NYC society dames, to familiar local faces such as Frank Goodsell as a child.

In September from the 1st to the 29th Nelson’s floral paintings will be on display.  While he made money-painting portraits, his heart was devoted to stunning renditions of the lovely flowers that he and his wife Helen grew in their gardens at Seven Hearths. Some are exquisitely colored oil paintings and some are perfectly detailed pencil drawings. Some even are featured on the cover of matchboxes!

Toscanini by Nelson

A show that will fill the Seven Hearths Museum with works by Nelson that are borrowed from private collections will be the final exhibit of the season and will take place from October 5 – 27. 

The museum is open Saturdays and Sundays from10 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the month.

Call the Historical Society office, 860-927-4587 or visit the web site for more information

For area information

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