Kearney Landscape Painters
The styles of scenic view painting, history painting, and plein-air painting were popular in Europe during the 1800s as a means of recording and documenting the painter’s living experience. As well many Kearney painters were influenced by Impressionist techniques in which the painter’s sense of harmony, arrangement, and shape became a personal representation of the living experience. The genres influenced many Kearney painters, both then and today.
Parker Lawton 1868-1954
Parker Lawton was raised in Kearney Nebraska where his talents were first recognized at Kearney High School. Young Parker won an amateur art competition advertised by Dr. Gray’s religious magazine – Interior. Then in 1886 he was awarded first prize at Chicago Institute of Art, where he studied.
Like many late 19th Century artists he received a journeyman’s education through periods of study at several art institutions like the Julian Art School, Paris, the Art Students League in New York and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. During this time he studied with such eminent artists as Gerome, Laurens, Whistler and Chase. During his career as an artist, which often included teaching, Parker won many awards for his paintings. He was the first American to receive the Gold Medal at the 1902 Paris Salon.
Carl Sammons 1883-1968
Sammons from Kearney, later Sammons moved to Sioux City Iowa and began working for Ashley and Loft – A sign painting company where he painted signage including billboards. Although working in Sioux City Sammons kept his legal residence in Kearney. As evidence his name is listed in the 1910 Kearney Federal Census and the 1910-1911 Kearney City Directory.
Later in 1913 Sammons moved to Petaluma California where his sister Mary E. Dye lived. Sammons’ early works are painted in the Tonalist style where the landscapes had an overall tone – misty and muted grays and browns. This technique created mood and spirituality previewing Impressionism. The majority of his later work is a combination of Impressionism – Post-Impressionism and the American Realist tradition that fits squarely into the California Eucalyptus School of painting with broad brush strokes and expressive color.
Jennifer’s contemporary painting brings together much of the Kearney painters love of horizon and landscape.
As an artist I believe it is my calling to visually preserve the present state of our land by pointing out beauty in the ordinary. I hope through my work I am able to provide the viewer with the gift of seeing. I not only want viewers to enjoy looking at my work but to notice the true beauty of the countryside as they travel from painting to painting. Note added by the editors – Look west across the fields from near where sixth avenue would run between fifty-second and fifty-sixth streets in Kearney. You will see some of the skyline that captures the eye of this artist and discussed from where she likes to paint at a showing of her work at Museum of Nebraska Art.