(American, 1893 - 1989)

Rain: Spring

Oil on canvas, 46 x 42 inches
Signed at lower center: “Arthur Meltzer”

REFERENCE: Mary O’Brien in Pennsylvania Impressionism, ed. Brian H. Peterson (Doylestown, Pa.: James A. Michener Art Museum; Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002), pp. 172-77

Note: This painting retains what appears to be its original frame, probably made by the artist.

The strong decorative qualities of the painting illustrated here may recall Arthur Meltzer’s six-year apprenticeship with the Ford and McNutt Stained Glass Company in Minneapolis. According to a relative of the artist, the barn in this painting was located near Newtown, a short distance from Meltzers’ Bucks County home.

About the Artist

(American, 1893 - 1989)

Arthur Meltzer was born to Lithuanian immigrants in Minneapolis. He studied at the Minneapolis School of Art with Robert Koehler (1850-1917), and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia with Hugh Breckenridge (1870-1937), Arthur Carles (1882-1952), Daniel Garber (1880-1958), Philip Hale (1865-1931), Joseph Pearson (1876-1951), and Robert Vonnoh (1858-1933). He was a member of the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy, the Graphic Sketch Club (now the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial), and the Art Alliance, all in Philadelphia.

In 1921 Meltzer won the Cresson Scholarship for European Travel from the Pennsylvania Academy. After he returned to Philadelphia, he became the head of the Fine Arts Department of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art and Design), where he met the artist Paulette Van Roekens (1896–1988), who was also on the staff. The two artists married in 1927 and celebrated their fiftieth anniversary in 1977. Using his high school training as a woodworker, Meltzer also made furniture and picture frames.

Meltzer’s works have been exhibited in the annual and biennial exhibitions of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C., the National Academy of Design in New York, and the Pennsylvania Academy; at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio and the University of Connecticut in Storrs; and in Philadelphia at the Art Alliance, the Art Club, the Sketch Club, and the Woodmere Art Museum. Meltzer and Van Roekens also exhibited with other Pennsylvania Impressionists at the Phillips Mill Community Association in New Hope.

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