Jonas Lie


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Painter. Born in Moss, Norway, he lived as a child in Oslo. In 1893 he arrived with his family in New York. After they settled in nearby Plainfield, New Jersey, as a young man he designed textiles there while pursuing training at Cooper Union, the National Academy of Design, and the Art Students League. He had already achieved some success as a painter before he returned in 1906 for the first of numerous visits to Norway. From there, he continued on to Paris, where he admired Monet's work. Lie helped to organize the Armory Show in 1913, and became known as a voice for liberalization within the National Academy, which he served as president from 1934 to 1939. At the time of his death in New York, he was so widely revered that honorary pallbearers at his funeral included Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, the Norwegian ambassador to the United States, and the president of Columbia University, among other notables. Primarily interested in landscapes, seascapes, and broad urban views, Lie achieved fresh and vigorous effects. Expanding upon impressionism, he applied his colorful approach to views of New York, the New England coast, and various locales abroad. Following a visit to Panama in 1910, he completed a celebrated series of paintings depicting construction of the canal. In The Conquerors: Culebra Cut, Panama Canal (Metropolitan Museum, 1913), his brushy impressionism vividly captures activity of men and machines at work in the deep gash that would become the waterway.

Subjects: Art.

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