Niles Spencer (1893–1952)
Niles Spencer was an important American Modernist whose work is associated with a group of American painters known as the Precisionists, a loosely-knit group that included Charles Sheeler, Charles Demuth, and Rawlston Crawford. Their spare, geometric renderings of factories, skyscrapers, and bridges reduced the American industrial landscape to a precise arrangement of abstract patterns. Spencer’s work stands out for its moody, atmospheric quality—built up from a careful layering of paint and an expressionistic use of color. The Museum of Modern Art put on a memorial exhibition of his work in 1954, and the Whitney Museum of American Art held a major retrospective in 1990. His paintings are also included in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.