George Gardner Symons Information and Inventory

George Gardner Symons

(1861 - 1930)

George Garnder Symons 


Beach, exhibiting many years in California. However, he spent more time at his second studio in Coleraine, Massachusetts, where his signature winter pictures along the Deerfield River were painted. Symons seems to have had a pretty ideal career: he exhibited widely, sold well, won many prizes, and succeeded in being truly bicoastal in his appeal—right up to the present day. Symons’ painting technique is a modification of the traditional approach to Impressionism, broadening it and enriching the color to suit his own purposes, producing a more virile or masculine style. I acquired the first example in 1979 from Chapellier Gallery, and at less than 4" x 6" in size, was pretty complete… for $300. A second piece came from a Sotheby’s auction in 1983, and again, that luscious mixture of color, with paint applied like icing on a cake, was irresistible. At a little less than twice the size for six times the cost, it was clear that Symons’ prices were moving upward a lot faster than my income. In 1986, the Coe Kerr Gallery had a show of Gardner Symons’ small paintings that, so the story goes, were discovered in an army trunk full of delicious little paintings on panel and all fresh to the market. The catalogue notes that they were executed at the height of his career between 1906–1920 and “are rapidly executed, with the self-confidence of the mature artist, certain of his medium. They are not simply preliminary works… each was produced as a finished statement, complete and wholly conceived.” The remaining two examples were acquired at a later date, Winter Scene Red Barn from this exhibition, and the fourth example slips quietly into that “senior moment” spot. I can’t remember where I got it. “I sure do hope snow paintings are Gardner Symons’ best work, because I have four of them.” Actually, snow paintings are Symons’ best-known and most sought after pictures, and the quintessential subject for the rugged, no-nonsense, pleinair painter. After a period in St. Ives, England, with numerous like-minded artists (Elmer Schofield among them), Symons returned to the United States in 1906 and established a studio in Laguna 

George Gardner Symons Gallery

No paintings by this author