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Claude Buck
1890-1974

Theme/Style – Realism, Symbolism, figurative art, still lifes

Media – Oils, illustrations

Artistic Focus – Inspired by Romanticism in both literature and art, Buck applied the philosophy to his own work – work that was soon praised for its masterly ability, daring originality, excellent workmanship, and its richly-colored, highly decorative qualities. Although his Precisionist still lifes now are popular, Buck also is remembered for his Subjective Romantic and Symbolist paintings. Those works frequently present images of women and death, exploring the destructive potential of sexuality.

Career Highlights –

• At the age of 11, Claude Buck received special permission from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in his native New York City to copy paintings – an honor never before granted to someone so young. Three years later, he passed the entrance exam for the National Academy of Design, where he studied and taught for the next eight years.
• Early in his career, Buck was honored by the Arts Council of New York City as one of the 100 best painters in America.
• With the decline of Romanticism around 1930, Buck became active in anti-Modernist circles. At the same time, he painted more commercially acceptable still lifes, portraits and genre scenes, for which he became well known, to support himself and his family.
• He moved from the Midwest to Northern California in 1943, where he lived until his death in 1974.

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