Hey Kids, It’s Time For Today’s Philly Art History Lesson

Y’all heard of Leonard Nelson? Neither have we. But a photo of one his paintings that we came across on Facebook got us a little curious.

Leonard Nelson (1912-1993), a native of the 215 and graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, is known in the art world for his contributions regarding the founding of the “Philadelphia School,” an art movement focused on the landscape painting style of color field. Another really cool thing about Nelson, is that he was kind of an anti-establishment badass. After painting with the New York School for the majority of the 1940s, he started experimenting with color field, much to the dismay of the famed New York artist Betty Parsons, and gave New York the middle finger to venture back to the City of Brotherly Love.

Nelson’s rejection of the NYC art world let him create masterpieces throughout the later half of the 20th century. However, it would seem that in recent years Philly has forgotten about one of their Sons of Art Anarchy, in which there have been some instances where certain museums, ahem, Philadelphia Museum of Art, have failed to credit Nelson in their exhibitions featuring artists/pieces linked to color field.

And we thought that Facebook was just for social networking and virtually poking people. Who woulda known we were gonna get a mini art history lesson?

One Response to “Hey Kids, It’s Time For Today’s Philly Art History Lesson”

  1. Brent Byrne Says:


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.