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  • Artist Profile Image - George W. Browning

George W. Browning

(George) Wesley Browning was born in Salt Lake in 1868. He was full-time businessman and weekend painter who gained respect among early Utah artists as a talented watercolorist. He died in Salt Lake City in 1951.

Browning made his living as an accountant for the Rio Grande Western Railway from 1890 to 1938. He was also an amateur botanist and entomologist and an authority on Utah flora. Browning's other avocation was painting.

Browning became one of the first Utahans to paint primarily in watercolor. He was the first non-charter member of the Society of Utah Artists. Through his association with artists such as Fairbanks and Hafen, Browning was exposed to impressionistic techniques. Sunset in the Wilderness (1905) demonstrates his interest in nature and impressionist techniques. In 1905, Browning exhibited his work at the Art Institute of Chicago and in 1944 at the Art Barn in Salt Lake City. He won first prize in the Springville annual exhibit in 1922.

(George) Wesley Browning was a weekend painter and Salt Lake City accountant. He was however very serious about his art and was a member of most local artists' associations. One of the first non charter members to join the Society of Utah Artists just after J.B. Fairbanks, Browning was well respected by fellow painters for his commitment and the quality of his work. His primary subject interest in painting was the portrayal of dramatically lighted mountain and woodland scenes in oil, pastel and watercolor. He was also an entomologist of local repute who owned one of the largest collections of native specimens in the state.

Browning roamed the wilderness in his spare time searching both telling views and new varieties of flora and fauna socialized with the other artists worked towards common community goals but he never had time to go to Europe with his friends.

Biography courtesy Artists of Utah

Books

Davenport, Ray. Davenport's Art Reference. Ventura, CA: Davenport's Art Reference, 2001.

Dawdy, Doris. Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary. Chicago, IL: Sage Books, 1990.

Dunbier, Lonnie P., ed. The Artists Bluebook: 29,000 North American Artists. Scottsdale, AZ: AskART.com, 2003.

Falk, Peter Hastings. The Annual Exhibition Record of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1888-1950. Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1990.

Falk, Peter Hastings. Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975: 400 Years of Artists in America. Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1999.

Falk, Peter Hastings. Who Was Who in American Art: Compiled from the Original Thirty-four Volumes of American Art Annual--Who's Who in Art, Biographies of American Artists Active from 1898-1947. Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1985.

Fielding, Mantle and Glenn B. Opitz. Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers. 2nd ed. Poughkeepsie, NY: Apollo, 1986.

Haseltine, James L. 100 Years of Utah Painting: Selected Works from the 1840s to the 1940s. Salt Lake City, UT: Salt lake Arts Center, 1965.

Mallett, Daniel T. Index of Artists, International-Biographical; Including Painters, Sculptors, Illustrators, Engravers and Etchers of the Past and the Present. New York, NY: Smith, 1948.

Olpin, Robert S., William C. Seifrit, and Vern G. Swanson. Artists of Utah. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1999.

Springville Museum of Art. Permanent Collection Catalog. Springville, UT: Springville Museum of Art, 1972.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Painting and Sculpture. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1991.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, Donna Poulton, and Janie Rogers. 150 Years Survey: Utah Art and Utah Artists. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2001.

Swanson,Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Art. Layton, UT: Peregrine Smith Books, 1991.

 Last Modified 8/28/13