Milton Avery American, 1885-1965


Born in Sand Bank, New York, Milton Avery moved to Hartford, Connecticut, with his family in 1898. He held many jobs, working as an assembler, latheman, and mechanic before enrolling in a lettering class at the Connecticut League of Art Students in Hartford in 1905. Charles Noël Flagg, the school’s director, persuaded Avery to transfer to a life-drawing class, which launched his career in fine arts. In 1918 Avery transferred to the School of Art at the Society of Hartford and exhibited his work while also holding down a variety of jobs, among them clerk and construction worker. In 1924 he became a member of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts and a year later moved to New Jersey. From 1926 to 1938, he attended sketch classes at the Art Students League in New York, where he became a friend of Adolph Gottlieb, Mark Rothko, and Barnett Newman. In 1938 Avery worked as an artist in the Easel Division of the WPA Federal Art Project. About 1949, Avery began to experiment with monotypes. In 1952 he visited Europe and began working in woodcut. By 1957, his paintings had become much larger in scale. Among the many places that exhibited Avery?s work were the Phillips Memorial Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Durand-Ruel Galleries in New York.

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