Paul Cornoyer American, 1864-1923


Paul Cornoyer, an American Impressionist artist, was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1864. In 1881 he entered the St. Louis School of Fine Arts to study under the tutelage of Halsey C. Ives. At first he painted in a style most closely related to that of the Barbizon School. The first exhibition of his works was held in 1887. In 1889 he traveled to Paris to study further at the Académie Julien with Jules Lefebre, Louis Blanc and Benjamin Constant. While Cornoyer was in Paris, he also traveled to London and to Venice. During this time he was exposed to French Impressionism and thus began to paint landscapes and cityscapes in a more fluid, tonal and lyrical style which reflected his own conservative interpretation of this artistic movement. He returned to his home in St. Louis in 1894 and that same year painted a mural at the Planters Hotel which depicted the birth of St. Louis. There is little information concerning his work during the next six years with the exception of the creation of a triptych entitled A View of St. Louis which became synonymous with the city of St. Louis and its depiction as the Gateway to the West.


In 1899 the artist William Merritt Chase, impressed with the work of Paul Cornoyer which he had seen in Paris, encouraged him to leave St. Louis and to travel to New York City. It was in New York City that Cornoyer created the urban cityscapes for which he is best known. His canvases were tonal depictions of street scenes especially after a rainfall. He was able to capture the essence of city life with its stark pavements, horse drawn carriages with drivers and passengers, as well as tree lined streets, and tall buildings. While in New York City Cornoyer took time to teach at the Mechanics Institute. He met other artists such as Childe Hassam, J. Alden Weir, Thomas Dewing and John Henry Twachtman who introduced him to the art school schools in Rockport, Gloucester, and other parts of New England. In 1917 he moved permanently to Massachusetts and established his studio in East Gloucester. In 1922 he was instrumental in founding the Glouester Art Association which later became the North Shore Arts Association. He was a mainstay of the Cape Ann School of Painting where he often taught. He was highly regarded as one of the best art instructors of his time. Cornoyer continued to paint and to exhibit his works until his death on June 17, 1923.    


Allied Artists of America, President and Co-Founder

Boston Art Club

Gallery on the Moors

National Academy of Design, Member 1909

National Arts Club

National Society of Arts and Letters

Newark Art Association

North Shore Arts Association, Co-Founder

Salmagundi Club, 1902

Society of Western Artists

Woodstock Artists Association


American Art Association of Paris, 1892 (prize)

Paris Art Salon, Paris, 1892 (prize)

St Louis Association of Painters and Artists, 1895 (gold)

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1896-1919

Salmagundi Club, 1905 (prize), 1906 (Inness Prize), 1908 (prize)

Boston Art Club, 1907, 1909

Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC, 1907-1910

Albright Museum, Buffalo, 1908

Panama-Pacific Exhibition of 1915

Philadelphia Art Club, 1917

Art Institute of Chicago

National Academy of Design

Museums and Public Collections

Brooklyn Institute Museum, NY

Butler Institute of American Art, Ohio

Dallas Museum of Art, Texas

Hickory Museum of Art, North Carolina

High Museum of Art, Georgia

Joslyn Art Museum, Nebraska

Kansas City Museum of Fine Art, Missouri

Museum of the City of New York

Newark Art Association, New Jersey

Newark Museum, New Jersey

Seattle Art Museum, Washington

Smith College Museum of Art, Massachusetts

Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC

St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri

Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Pennsylvania

Yale University Art Gallery, Connecticut

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