George W. Waters

Artist Biography

Born in Coventry, New York, George W. Waters painted landscapes of the northeastern United States. His approach was most aligned with the second generation of the Hudson River School and his work was praised for the locales depicted and his rich colors. He attended and taught at the Delaware Literary Institute in Franklin, New York, then moved to New York City with his wife to pursue his artistic career, later settling in Elmira, New York, in 1861. In 1869, he became the first director of Elmira College’s Art Department, where today the art gallery is named after him. During his sketching trips he often visited the White Mountains, the Adirondacks, and the Chemung Valley, in western New York, among other spots in New York state. In addition to landscape painting, Waters completed portrait commissions of the likes of New York Governor Lucius Robinson and Wisconsin Governor Alexander Randall, and was even commissioned to do a painting of a ship at sea engulfed in flames for Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), who often spent summers in Elmira. Waters’s work is in the collections of Adirondack Experience, Arnot Art Museum, and Yale University Art Gallery, among others.

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