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James King Bonnar


Gallery Database:

James King Bonnar (1885 - 1961). "New England Winterscape," oil on canvas, 16 x 15, signed. 


Curator's Comment:

A painter's painter, Bonnar  was the youngest of the New England painters gathered around Emile Gruppe, Anthony Thieme, and Aldro Hibbard. We strongly believe that his work is receiving increasing attention and progressively finding a reception that matches what his fellow masters are bringing. He was true to the New England pattern, painting Rockport marines in summer (he had a summer home in the Portuguese fishing community section of Gloucester) and Vermont snowscapes in the winter. But his excellence is easily seen in the work we are calling Winter in Vermont, where his cobalt blue hues are in perfect harmony with the sky. Most important for us is this gem of a snowscape itself, in which Bonnar catches the quintessential aim of his fellow painters by showing the fallen snow as the true painter of the landscape.


Vermont, in blue, sold for $11,000


The Artist, 1955

Bonnar was born in North Adams, MA and lived in Newtonville, MA. He graduated from the Massachusetts School of Art where he studied with Joseph DeCamp, and the influence of DeCamp is clear in his brushwork. He was the president of the Copley Society of Boston and exhibited for many years at the North Shore Arts Association (founded in 1922 by Hibbard, William Paxton, Frederick Mulhaupt, Edmund Tarbell and Frank Benson) and the Rockport Art Association. Bonnar was also a founder of the Newton, MA Art Association, and his works were included in a Newton Museum retrospective. 

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