Lawrence Squires was born in Salt Lake City in 1887. Although his career was only fifteen years long, his technically proficient and sensitive style is well regarded in Utah art. He died in Salt Lake City in 1928.
In 1912, he enrolled in the Art Students League in New York where Kenneth Hayes Miller and Boardman Robinson were his instructors. As a student in New York, the work of the impressionists further influenced Squires.
Reclining Girl was one of Squires's paintings donated to the Denver Art Museum permanent collection. Alpine Canyon (1921) and First Snowfall, City Creek Canyon (1927) are featured in the Springville Museum of Art permanent collection.
Biography adapted from Artists of Utah.
Lawrence Squires was a product of the artistically inclined John P. Squires clan. The Squires clan, “a close knit-family with intellectual inclinations,“ all lived, “on the lower Avenue“ in Salt Lake City and together created the advantageous cultural environment within which the cousins Clyde and Lawrence Squires grew up. In fact it might be meaningful to note here that it was in this same part of town that such local and/or national artistic lights as Jack Hill Jr., G. Watson Barrett, Waldo Midgley, Lee Richards, Alma Wright, Mahonri Young and of course the Squires brothers all developed.
In 1907 Lawrence got his chance to move in the direction of his dreams: a “mission call“ came from the Swiss-German Mission“ that same year and had the opportunity to not only “spread the word“ but also take in the artistic sights of France and Switzerland until late 1909. Described by his mission president “as a young man of keen observation,“ Lawrence proselytized sketched, and gallery hopped his way across Europe during those years, then asked his mother for financial support for another six months of travel with uncle Harry Squires in France and then in Italy, Austria, Germany, and Holland as well.
Squires was back home in May 1910 with a “receptiveness“ to many artistic directions established in his mind that would characterize much of his later work. He spent the following two years in Salt Lake practicing with the brush and saving his money for the inevitable New York studies to come. He left for American art's capital city in 1912 to follow in the footsteps of so many other Salt Lake painters and enrolled at the Art Students League to study with George Bridgeman, Boardman Robinson, and Kenneth Haves Miller. Spending most of his time with Miller, Squires met fellow Utahn LeConte Stewart at the League and persuaded him to join one of the artists' classes for a while.
Particularly interested in “old master's methods“ while working with Miller, Squires development at the League was impressive to his teacher and in his second year he was granted a scholarship. He returned home for a short time in 1914 but quickly went back to New York for more study with Clyde Squires and his old childhood friend George Watson Barrett with whom both Lawrence and Clyde remained close friends in later years.
By 1914 and '15, Lawrence found employment as a designer with furniture manufacturer J.W. Sloan. Then when World War I broke out, Lawrence enlisted in the army because he was “so anxious to get back to Europe to visit the art galleries again,“ as a Squires aunt later reported, “that he hoped he would get by the tests...“ No great physical specimen he eventually saw combat in Picardy, Somme and Flanders where a dose of poison gas ruined his lungs. He was in an army hospital until his famous 27th Division was sent home in March 1919. When the troop ship arrived in New York, he wired his mother that he felt fine, would be home for a visit soon, and that he was planning to be “Barrett's assistant in designing sets for the Schuberts on Broadway.“
Biography courtesy Artists of Utah.
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