Roy Cleveland Nuse was born in Springfield, Ohio in 1885, the only son of a barber. When his father suffered a debilitating accident, Nuse was compelled to abandon high school and to take a job in a factory painting lampshades in order to support his family. Nuse's co-workers, discerning his latent artistic talent, encouraged him to enroll in art classes. In 1905 Nuse began his art education at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, renown for its traditional academic training. Nuse was an extremely devoted and diligent student who earned several scholarships and much recognition. He studied at the Academy of Cincinnati for eight years under Vincent Nowottny and Frank Duveneck until 1912, the last two years as a part-time teacher. Duveneck taught Nuse the importance of expert draftsmanship and the value of a strong, dark palette. At the Academy he met his future wife Ellen Guthrie who was a fellow student. They were married in 1911 and moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania so that Nuse could continue his artistic training at the prestigious Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia in 1915 under the master figurative and landscape painter Daniel Garber (1880-1958). Again here Nuse received numerous accolades for his obvious talent, dedicated study, and praiseworthy performance. He was the recipient of all the Pennsylvania Academy's preeminent awards - two Cresson European Traveling Scholarships in 1917 and again in 1918, the First Toppan Prize in 1918 and the First Thouron Prize in the same year as well as the Fellowship Gold Medal in 1940. Nuse was a devoted husband and father to six children. They lived for many years on a farm in Bucks County where life could be especially grueling. Nuse supported his family through several low paying teaching positions coupled with an austere frugality as well as with food from the farm that could either be raised or trapped. His children as well as a few neighbors and friends provided endless models for his pictures, while the countryside around the farm provided countless vistas for his palette. During the 1920's and 1930's Nuse gained recognition as an art educator, while many of works were exhibited in such notable venues as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Carnegie Institute. Roy Nuse's wife died in October of 1974. His own passing followed in January of the following year, only three months later, a man beloved by his friends, family and students alike.
Roy Cleveland Nuse was forever enthralled by the play of sunlight on the trees and the hillside surrounding his beloved Bucks County farm as shown in his painting entitled Winter Morning. He is remembered for his figurative paintings which notably depicted his children, close friends, and neighbors. He is also equally well known for his landscape painting. Nuse studied at the Academy of Cincinnati and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for almost thirty years. It was during these decades of studying and teaching that he became well versed in the art of painting realistic scenes from nature. The clump of evergreen trees in the foreground of the painting are detailed in short, swiftly applied, almost jabs of paint in varying shades of greens, golds, and touches of red that build together to create an appealing and exciting textured pattern. The tall evergreens rising majestically from an open field of snow provide a colorful contrast to the stark whiteness of the frosty landscape and to the purple blueness of the sky above. They stand as a hopeful harbinger of spring that will return to the valley after winter's slumber because there is no sense of bleakness or feeling of desolation in Nuse's landscape. He has faithfully and almost lovingly recorded the lyrical images of the hibernal beauty of a season in the Pennsylvania hillside. Nuse's masterful application of varying tones coupled with the adroitness in which he lays down complimentary and contrasting hues work together seamlessly to create an expansive and expressive panorama out of a flat canvas. Winter Morning is a strong work by Nuse and represents all that is best from the Pennsylvania Impressionist movement.
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