(1877 - 1949)
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“There is a great force and strength, as well as a charming sense of color, in Mr. Greacen’s work. He paints with a
breadth and clearness of vision which shows that he is a complete master of himself as well as of his medium.”
- Mildred Giddings Burrage, “Art and Artists at Giverny” in The World Today, vol. 20 (Chicago, 1911), 351.
Edmund Greacen was born in New York in 1876 and attended New York University. He was drawn to military
service throughout his life, though around 1898 his wealthy father hoped to allay his enthusiasm for the Spanish-
American War by sending him off on a gentleman’s circumnavigation.3 He returned with a renewed interest in
art, and in 1899 he enrolled at the Art Students League in New York. He later shifted to the private school of
William Merrit Chase (1849-1916), where he studied with Robert Henri (1865-1929) and Frank DuMond (1865-
1951), among others. Greacen augmented his studies with a pivotal pilgrimage to Giverny that lasted from 1904
to 1909. Shortly after his return to New York, he began rusticating to Old Lyme for periodic respites from the
frenzy of city life.
Greacen was elected to the National Academy of Design in 1920, and two years later, he enjoyed a one-man show at
Macbeth Gallery while simultaneously organizing an “artists’ collaborative” on the top floor of Grand Central
Station. The collaborative included a successful art school that counted Ivan Olinksy (1818-1962) and Jonas Lie
(1880-1940) among its students, and eventually morphed into the celebrated Grand Central Art Galleries.
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