Joseph H. Greenwood

Artist Biography

Born in Spencer, Massachusetts, Joseph Greenwood showed an early interest in art but was given little encouragement by his parents. He left home as a teenager to work in a wire mill, while pursuing painting in his spare time. Impressed with Greenwood’s dedication, the owners of the mill sponsored him on a trip to Boston, where he was able to take private art lessons. Yet his finances soon dwindled, and Greenwood was forced to return to his job at the mill.
From there, Greenwood moved to Worcester, where he continued painting while working as an art instructor. The area surrounding his home provided ample inspiration, and Greenwood focused his work on picturesque landscape paintings. He avoided being associated with any specific school of art, claming that “men who follow a school are always behind… if you have anything to say, say it in your own way. The strong painters could not be budged one way or another.”
Greenwood’s style combined the hazy atmosphere of the Tonalists with the bright light of the Impressionists. He studied under Robert Swain Gifford, who became one of his chief artistic influences, and was a member of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts and The Bohemian Club. He exhibited at the Boston Art Club, the Chicago 1893 Columbian Exhibition, and the National Academy of Design; today Greenwood’s works can be found in the museums of Colby College and Clark University, as well as the Worcester Art Museum.

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