back to part 1 of American Post WW II Art
North American Art

North American Art
After the Second World War

George Tooker

(part 1 -- Forties and Fifties)

 

To get a larger version, click on the thumbnail version of a picture.

 

 

Tooker: Self  George Claire Tooker

born: Brooklyn, NY, US; 5 August 1920
lives in: Hartland, Vermont, US

Born and raised until age seven in Brooklyn, New York and then in Belleport, Long Island in upper middle class surroundings. His mother is of Cuban/Spanish extraction; his father is Anglo-American. The family is a church going Episcopalian family.

In his early teens George takes art lessons from the painter Malcolm Frazier, a friend of his mother, and then he attends Phillips Academy, a prep school, in Andover, Mass. in preparation for college. He doesn't really want to go to college -- he wants to go to art school, but the family insists on a college education.

He goes to Harvard University where he studies English Literature, but spends much of his time doing what he wants to do: painting with his roommate, Francis Faust.

At the beginning of the Second World War his family expects him to enlist in the services, so he does. During boot camp he is found to be medically unfit and discharged with ulcerative colitis. He is subsequently drafted, and again he is found medically unqualified.

During the war he studies at the Art Students League in New York City, and in 1943 with Reginald Marsh. He also studies with Kenneth Hayes Miller and Harry Sternberg. Tooker stops attending church when he begins art school. However religion remains a major influence on his art.

In 1946, he becomes both the student and a close friend of Paul Cadmus. Cadmus encourages Tooker to work with tempera rather than the transparent wash technique taught by Marsh.

Tooker adopts a method of using egg yolk thickened slightly with water and then adding powdered pigment, a medium that is quick drying, tedious to apply, and hard to change once applied.

In 1949 he travels for several months in France and Italy with Paul Cadmus looking at art.

In the early 50s he moves to New York; there Tooker finds his life partner, another artist -- William Christopher (1924-1974). Bill and George share a loft in Chelsea; in 1953 after a fire in an adjoining lumber yard, they move to Brooklyn Heights and renovate a brownstone. They support themselves by making and selling furniture.

In 1951 George has his first one-man exhibition at the Edwin Hewitt Gallery in New York .

In 1960 Bill and George again move. This time to Vermont. They build their home using an old barn as the structural base.

This short biography continues in Part 2 of the Tooker Gallery


The Forties:

 

 Tooker: Bird Watchers

Bird Watchers
1948
Museum of American Art
New Britain, Connecticut

  Tooker: Coney Island

Coney Island
1948

 Tooker: Festa

Fiesta
1948 

 

  Tooker: Cornice

Cornice
1949

 Tooker: Market

Market
1949

 Tooker: Fountain

Fountain
1950

Tooker: Bathers and Bath House

Bathers and Bath House
1950 

 

The Fifties

 Tooker: Gypsy

Gypsy
1951

 Tooker: Divers

Divers
1952

 Tooker: Garden Party

Garden Party
1952

 Tooker: Builders

Builders
1952

 Tooker: Doors

Doors
1953

 Tooker: Red Carpet

Red Carpet
1953

   Tooker: Highway

Highway
1953

 Tooker: Jukebox

Jukebox
1953

   Tooker: Governmnet Bereau

Government Bureau
1956
Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, NY, US

  Tooker: Guitar

Guitar
1957

 Tooker: Men and Women Fighting

Men and Women Fighting
1958

  Tooker: In the Summer House

In the Summer House
1958
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Washington, DC, US

 Tooker: Lovers 1

Lovers I
1959

 

More Tooker Art from the Cold War Period.


back to part 1 of American Post WW II Art
North American Art

2003-11-01