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Indepth Arts News:

"Richard Meryman: For the Love of Painting"
2001-06-08 until 2001-08-08
Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery
Keene, NH, USA United States of America

The first overview exhibit of paintings by Dublin artist Richard Meryman will be presented this summer by the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery in Keene. The Friends of the Dublin Art Colony and the Thorne Gallery organized the exhibition of landscape, portrait, and still-life paintings by Richard Sumner Meryman (1881-1963). Meryman was a member of the Dublin artists' colony, which flourished at the foot of Mount Monadnock in the early 20th century. Meryman, born in Chelsea, Mass., was a student at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts when he traveled to Dublin in 1906 to work for Abbott Thayer, the painter and naturalist. Meryman became part of Thayer's inner circle and kept a home in Dublin for the rest of his life.

Meryman became a portrait painter, receiving commissions from many members of Dublin society, including Rob Sagendorph, founder of Yankee magazine and his wife, beaTrix Sagendorph, founder of the Thorne Gallery.

Meryman also painted many dignitaries' portraits while director of the art school at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He painted university presidents, generals and admirals, the secretary of the Navy, chief justice of the Supreme Court, a senator from Tennessee, and President Coolidge's son. By 1935 modernism permeated the art world, and Meryman's tradition of 19th-century realism was no longer the training students wanted.

He returned to live year-round in Dublin, where he sold landscapes from his studio. He also ran an art school in town with painter Alexander James. However, he continued to receive portrait commissions and became New Hampshire's official portraitist, painting many former governors including Sherman Adams, who became President Eisenhower's chief of staff.

Meryman was an important, but lesser known, member of the Dublin Art Colony. He refused to advance himself in the art world blaming art dealers for promoting abstract art. He had only one formal exhibition of his work in 1951, which he organized himself in a Dubliner's barn.

The Thorne Gallery will be open during the summer from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday though Monday and noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; it is closed on Thursday and Friday. The gallery will be closed for a week between June 28 and July 6.


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