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George Inness, Jr.

Painter

1854 - 1926

Inducted in 2019

Biography

George Inness, Jr. was one of America’s foremost figure and landscape painters and a respected philanthropist. He is recognized as a great Florida artist for his depiction of the state’s unspoiled landscapes full of the flora and fauna of his time.

Inness, Jr. was born in Paris, France to the 19th century American painter George Inness. He was raised on the East Coast of the United States but accompanied his father on frequent European sojourns, where he was exposed to many European art circles, including the Barbizon school of landscape painting. Inness, Jr. studied with French artist Léon Bonnat and began his career as a magazine illustrator and painter of bucolic and hunting scenes. Following his father’s death in 1894, Inness, Jr. undertook formal study in France at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, eventually opening a studio in Paris, creating paintings in the academic style and becoming an Officer in the Académie des Beaux Arts, a rare distinction for an American.

Inness, Jr. returned to the United States in 1900, splitting his time between Cragsmoor, New York and Tarpon Springs, Florida. He enjoyed recognition at home and abroad throughout his lifetime and his works can be found in the collections of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, New Jersey’s Montclair Art Museum and the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art in Daytona Beach. Many of his works can also be found in private collections, including an extensive collection of his most significant paintings housed at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Tarpon Springs.

The painter expanded his winter residence in Tarpon Springs into a 27-room house with a large painting studio and artists’ cottages, where he hosted many prominent early 20th century artists including Charles Curran, Winfield Scott Clime and Rachael Hartley. Inness Manor became an important artist colony, emblematic of the artist’s status as an arts leader, advocate and philanthropist. Because of the legacy of Inness, Jr. and his wife, Julia, Tarpon Springs is often referred to as City of the Arts. Inness, Jr.’s contributions to the cultural development within the Tarpon Springs community are unmatched.

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