Jonas Lie American, 1880-1940


Jonas Lie was a prolific painter, known for his coastal views of New England and New York scenes. He became the president of the National Academy of Design from 1935 to 1939, a year before his death.  Lie was also known for a series of paintings of the last days of construction of the Panama Canal in 1913.  These paintings were given to the United States Military Academy at West Point, in memory of General Goethals.  His most award winning work from this series, The Conquerors, Panama Canal, now hangs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Lie was born in Moss, Norway to an accomplished Norwegian engineer and an American mother. Named after his uncle, a novelist and close friend of Henrik Ibsen, Jonas went to Paris to live with his uncle in 1892, after his father's death. Here the twelve year-old boy was influenced by the creative spirit found in his uncle's home.


In 1893, Jonas moved to New York City, where he took evening classes at Cooper Union, the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League, while at the same time designing fabric patterns for a textile company to earn money for his education. After the completion of his education Lie spent most of his summers along the New England coast and Canada. Here he would paint bright, impressionistic harbor scenes and rocky, coastal views, which he would exhibit regularly.


American Federation of Arts

Art Commission Association

Associate Member, National Academy of Design, 1912

Boston Art Club

Century Club

Lotus Club

Municipal Art Society of New York

Municipal Arts Commission

National Academician, 1925 (president 1934-39)

National Arts Club

National Institute of Arts and Letters

Salmagundi Club

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1934

Studio Club

Three Art Club


Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Annual, 1903-40 (medal for best landscape 1935)

St. Louis Exposition, 1904 (medal)

Corcoran Gallery Biennials, 1907-39

Art Institute of Chicago

Armory Show, 1913

National Academy of Design, 1914(prize), 1927 (prize), 1936 (medal), 1937 (prize)

Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, CA, 1915 (medal)

Newport, RI, 1925 (gold)

Society of Independent Artists, 1917, 1919, 1937

Art Week, Philadelphia, 1925 (gold)

Chicago Norske Klub, 1925 (prize), 1927 (prize)

Springville, Utah, 1927 (prize)

National Arts Club, 1929 (prize)

Amsterdam, 1928 (prize)

Whitney Museum of American Art, 1932

Museums and Public Collections

Addison Gallery of American Art, MA

Arnot Art Museum, NY

Art Institute of Chicago

Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY

Cleveland Museum of Art, OH

Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Cornell Fine Arts Museum, FL

Detroit Institute of Arts, MI

Everson Museum of Art, NY

High Museum of Art, GA

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Newark Museum, NJ

Phoenix Art Museum, AZ

San Diego Museum of Art, CA

Seattle Art Museum, WA

Telfair Museum of Art, GA

University of Michigan Museum of Art

Washington County Museum of Fine Art, MD

Wright Museum of Art, WI

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