Artist of the moment…..George Biddle

George Biddle was an America artist born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the year 1885. Biddle was one of America’s first “social realist” painters and took part in the Works Progress Administration painting murals. Biddle received a college degree from Harvard where he studied law. The artist passed the bar in Pennsylvania.

George Biddle moved to Paris, France and enrolled at the Academie Julian. Biddle then moved back to the United States and enrolled at the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts. The artist then went to Munich, Germany where he studied printmaking.

Biddle moved back to the United States where he got married and joined the army. His marriage failed and Biddle traveled to Tahiti to forget his troubles.

Biddle moved to New York City and made a great name for himself as an artist with many successful shows. The artist also married for the second time.

Price range information:  Works range from $3,000 to $30,000. The artist worked in oils, watercolor, and also worked with lithography.

Biddle then moved back to Paris, France to further his art studies and worked as a printmaker. The artist met Diego Rivera and was moved by the messages of Rivera and his fellow muralist painters. Biddle was inspired to return to the United States and complete some murals of his own. He vowed to make his work political and social in nature, similar to what he saw in his travels with Rivera.

In this clip a great montage of works by George Biddle:

His second marriage ended and he would begin a new relationship with an artist named Helene Sardeau. The couple  moved to Rome, Italy where both artists worked vigorously exploring new medium. The couple then returned to Biddle’s estate in the U.S. Biddle prepared his idea to create a mural program similar to the one he saw implemented in Mexico. Biddle explained his idea to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the president of the United States. The president favored the idea and began the program.

Biddle’s first mural was in 1933, for the Chicago World’s Fair.

Biddle was even assigned to be the head of United States War Artists. He produced several drawings and watercolors of the war front.

George Biddle passed away in 1973.

Though I have written before about the WPA and some of its artists, I had no idea the arts program here was patterned after what George Biddle had witnessed on his trips to Mexico and by being friends with Diego Rivera.


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