Dale Nichols American, 1904-1995


Born in David City, Nebraska, in 1904, Dale Nichols was an American Regionalist painter, illustrator, educator, and author. His interest in art began early though life on a grain farm left little time for study and it wasn’t until he turned twenty that he began formal education in painting. In Chicago he took classes at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts under its founder Carl Werntz and later at the Art Institute of Chicago. After a short period of study in Vienna, Nichols would again settle in Chicago, this time remaining for nearly two decades as the Carnegie Professor of Art at the University of Illinois. Though trends in painting at the time were heading toward Modernism, Nichols was an advocate for a traditionalist style of regionalism and often returned to the prairie landscapes of his youth for his subjects.


Beginning in the early 1940s, and for the next two decades, Nichols would travel extensively throughout the United States, establish an art school in Tubac Arizona, work as an editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and study Mayan sculpture in Guatamala. Exhibitions include four (1935, 1936, 1938, and 1939) at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of art in 1941, and the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh in 1946. He was represented by New York’s MacBeth Gallery from 1930 to 1950, and later by the Grand Central Art Galleries. Nichols’ works can be seen in major American museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and many others. Nichols died in Sedona Arizona in 1995

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