Charles Paul Gruppe

Artist Biography

The father of the marine artist Emile Gruppe, Charles Gruppe was a premier Tonalist known for his soft brushwork and dark, Dutch-inspired palette. Born in Canada and raised in Rochester, New York, Gruppe traveled through Europe at the age of twenty-one to practice painting. Drawn to the picturesque quality of Holland, he settled in a Dutch fishing village and became one of the country’s leading artists. He was elected to the Pulchri Studio in The Hague, a rare honor for a foreigner, and counted the Dutch Royal Family as patrons. Gruppe returned to New York at the turn of the century, where his portraits, landscapes, and genre scenes helped to popularize the Dutch tradition among American artists and collectors. After 1925, he divided his time between New York City and Cape Ann, Massachusetts, where his son Emile established his studio and painting school.
Gruppe was well-recognized in the United States and Europe, winning gold medals at competitions in Rouen, Paris, and Province, as well as at the Philadelphia Art Club. He won additional medals and prizes at the Art Institute of Chicago, the St. Louis Exposition of 1904, and the Appalachian Exposition of 1910, and was a member of the Salmagundi Club, the American Federation of Arts, the National Arts Club, and the American Watercolor Society. His paintings are now in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Butler Institute of American Art, and the National Gallery of Canada.

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