Roy C. Nuse American, 1885-1975


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.


Philadelphia Sketch Club

Philadelphia Art Club


Cresson European Traveling Scholarship, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1917, 1918

First Toppan Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1918

First Thouron Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1918

Philadelphia Sketch Club, Medal, 1921

Fellowship Gold Medal, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1940 (for In a Quiet Valley)


Art Alliance of Philadelphia, 1920, 1921

Art Club of Philadelphia (Annual Exhibition)

Art Institute of Chicago, 1920, 1923

Artists Fellowship

Arts Club, Washington, D.C., 1920

Carnegie Institute International Exhibition, 1922

Cincinnati Art Museum, 1920-2, 1938 (Fiftieth Anniversary)

Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1920, 1926 (10th Exhibition of Contemporary American Oil Paintings)

Jefferson Medical College, 1941

J.B. Speed Memorial Museum, St. Louis, Missouri, 1927 (First Exhibition of Invited Paintings)

National Academy of Design, 1920, 1921

New Jersey State Museum, 1944 (Delaware River Artists)

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, annually (1920-1950), 1947 (solo)

Philadelphia Sketch Club, 1921 (medal)

Toledo Museum of Art

University of Pennsylvania Faculty Club, 1984

Museums and Public Collections

James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Hahneman Medical College, Philadelphia

Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Thomas Jefferson University Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Woodmere Art Museum

Request information

Please notify me when works by Roy C. Nuse become available.