George F. Schultz (1869 - 1934)
Born in Chicago on 17 April 1869, George F. Schultz was taught by his father to love art and the beauties of nature. At age fifteen, he was known as a “decorator of souvenirs,” perhaps decorative paintings on porcelain. Schultz would become a highly respected artist who exhibited over one hundred works at the Art Institute of Chicago annuals, between 1889 and 1925.
It was noted that Schultz spent part of 1895 on Monhegan Island, which artists had discovered in 1858. An exhibition of Schultz’s watercolors of Monhegan scenery at Thurber’s Gallery in Chicago in 1896 was reviewed in Arts for America. The author was particularly moved by “a huge, strongly painted rock enveloped in fog, called Solitude.” Schultz, he stated, “paints with a firm, true hand and [has] a feeling for color that is delightful.”
In April of 1898, Schultz exhibited oils at Thurber’s Gallery. At that time he was still best known as a watercolor painter. The reviewer in Chicago Inter-Ocean admired his “delicate, loose and pleasing” touch. One work from that show, entitled Reflections, appeared in the March issue of Brush and Pencil. This simple view of a pond, perhaps inspired by Monet, includes water lilies on the left, in a dazzling reflection of the bright sky above.
In 1902, Fishing House by Schultz was part of the Municipal Art League of Chicago’s annual exhibition. Illustrated in Brush and Pencil that year, the painting focuses on a detailed but picturesque fish shack. It was reported in 1906 that several works by Schultz were part of the permanent collection of the Palette and Chisel Club.
A year later he showed paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago in a solo show. He also exhibited Converse with Nature’s Charms at the Carnegie International (1914) and The Voice of the Brook at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts two years later. Schultz won the William H. Tuthill Prize of $100 at the AIC in 1918, for Surging Seas.
In addition, he was president of the Chicago Water Color Club and he belonged to three other clubs: the Arche, the Cliff Dwellers, and the Union League Club. Schultz was an outstanding naturalist painter who would often work in a pure impressionist technique.
Richard H. Love and Michael Preston Worley, Ph. D. Reflections of Reality: American Paintings from the Collection of John and Susan Hainsworth, p. 114
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