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"Dad was not affected by the fashions of the moment. He always believed in the reality of nature and trying to establish some rapport with it."
-Oliver Nuse, painter
Roy C. Nuse's paintings, identified with the Pennsylvania Impressionists, reflected his traditional training from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he taught for twenty-one years. Nuse was influenced by his teacher, Frank Duveneck, whose "Munich style" portrayed picturesque people and everyday life. Nuse was later influenced by the impressionist style of painting. Themes in his paintings focused on the chores of the farm and those who toiled on it. Nuse worked in oils on figurative and landscape paintings using subjects from his Bucks County surroundings. He enjoyed painting family themes, using his own six children, everybody in his extended family, and the children of his friends. Nuse was described as an artist and teacher who "glorified the timeless." He paid no mind to the abstract art movement fashionable in his time and resisted the intrusion of technology, namely the telephone and television. He enjoyed renown as a portrait painter and received many commissions. Nuse also carved his own frames. In addition to teaching at the Academy, Nuse taught at a variety of institutions throughout his life including Oberlin College, Beaver College (where he was the Director of Fine Arts), and the Cincinnati Art Academy. In 2002, the Michener Art Museum held a major retrospective exhibition of Nuse's work entitled Roy C. Nuse: Figures and Landscapes.
Photograph of Roy Nuse, 1971, by Robin Nuse
Education and Training
Cincinnati Art Academy, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1905-1912
John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1913
Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, 1913
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 1914-1915
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1915-1918
Teachers and Influences
Nuse was a student of Frank Duveneck at Cincinnati Art Academy, a late nineteenth/early twentieth century post-impressionist, whose "Munich Style" portrayed picturesque people and everyday life. He also studied with Nowothy and Meaken in Cincinnati and with Breckenridge at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
Connection to Bucks County
Roy Nuse came to Bucks County in 1917 and lived on a farm in Pipersville for eight years, before moving to Rushland where he lived for the remainder of his life. Although acquainted with both Edward Redfield and the painters of New Hope, he was not a member of any particular school of painting. After Nuse retired from a twenty-one year teaching career at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, he taught private sessions at his home in Bucks County. One of his students was Harriet Ermentrout, a renown watercolorist.
Colleagues and Affiliations
Nuse was acquaintances with Daniel Garber and Edward Redfield. Dr. R.C. Magill was a student of Nuse, as was Benton Spruance.
He was friends with Arthur Meltzer, Paulette Van Roekens, Rae Sloan Bredin and Clarence Johnson. His son, Oliver Nuse of Philadelphia, became a painter as well.
Major Solo Exhibitions
Solo Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1947
Roy C. Nuse: Figures and Landscapes, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 2002
Major Group Exhibitions
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 1920, 1923
Cincinatti Art Museum, 1920, 1922, 1938
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1920, 1926
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Annual Exhibits, 1920-1924, 1926-1930, 1932-1950
National Academy of Design, New York, New York, 1920, 1921
Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1921
Carnegie Institute, International Exhibition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1922
Art Club of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1941
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey, 1944
Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1941
Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, 1953
Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Plus, many portraiture commissions
Teaching and Professional Appointments
Instructor, Drawing and Painting, Cincinnati Art Academy, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1910-1912
Instructor, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, 1912-1915
Director and Professor, Beechwood School of Fine Arts (now Arcadia University), Glenside, Pennsylvania, 1915-1932
Instructor of portrait figure classes, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1925-1954
Head of coordinated courses, Academy and University of Pennsylvania, 1933-1954
President of the Fellowship, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1937
Taught private students at his home after retiring from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1970s
Cresson Traveling Fellowship, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1917, 1918
First Toppan Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, By the Stone Barn, 1918
Thouron Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1918
Medal, Philadelphia Sketch Club, 1921
Fellowship Gold Medal, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, In a Quiet Valley, 1940
Affiliations and Memberships
Fellowship, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
League of New York Artists
Philadelphia Art Alliance