Dwight William Tryon

Artist Biography

One of America’s first Tonalists, Dwight Tryon was an influential artist and teacher who popularized the muted, poetic style among fin-de-siècle audiences. Born in Connecticut, Tryon developed his technique in France, where he studied at the Ecole de Beaux-Arts in Paris and trained under Charles Daubigny in Barbizon. He returned to United States in 1881 and spent nearly forty years as an instructor at Smith College, eventually being named Director of the Art School. His atmospheric, Barbizon-inspired landscapes won countless honors, including gold medals at the American Art Association, the Carnegie Institute, the Munich Exposition of 1892, the Pan-American Exposition of 1901, and the St. Louis Expositions of 1904. The capitalist Charles Lang Freer was his lifelong patron, and the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. now houses the largest collection of Tryon’s work. His paintings are also in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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