DALE NICHOLS 
American (1904-1995) 
Winter on the Farm 
oil on canvas, signed "Dale Nichols" and dated "1969" lower left. 
20 x 28 inches

 

"Farm life was all I knew for the first 20 years of my life. In painting these canvases, I felt again the vastness of endless skies, experienced again the penetrating cold of Nebraska winters, lived again as farmers live …in spirit, I am very much a farmer,"    Dale Nichols.

Dale Nichols was born in rural David City, Nebraska in 1904. His early life had a profound influence on his paintings which centered on the recreations of the farm life. The search for pure American Art was growing and the public was interested in scenes of American life. Nichols emerged as an artist when Regionalism and Rural Regionalism were growing as a collecting genre. His paintings are classified as a succession from Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton and John Stuart Curry.

Nichols studied in Chicago at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Art Institute with Carl Wentz. He became a successful illustrator, watercolorist, designer, writer, lecturer, block-printer and painter. In the 1930s and 40s he created artwork for direct-mail industrial advertising. From 1942-1948 he succeeded Grant Wood as art editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica. During his career, he had eighteen solo exhibitions and exhibited in more that eighty regional and national exhibitions.

Winter on the Farm is a pleasant painting depicting a family at the end of the day. The mother figure waves from the house as her husband and children approach on a sleigh. This Nebraska farm scene is painted in Nichols’ characteristic Regionalist style.

In 2012, the Bone Creek Museum of Art organized a traveling retrospective exhibition, Dale Nichols: Transcending Regionalism. This exhibition cemented Nichols as the fourth American Regionalist alongside Wood, Benton and Curry. Nichols’ work has been avidly collected in numerous public and private collections throughout the country as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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