George Ayers Cress (Alabama/Tennessee, 1921-2008) oil on canvas expressionist painting titled "Seawall," rendered in shades of yellow, green, and brown with a stretch of blue across the top. Signed and dated "George Cress 1970" lower right. All-State Artist Exhibition, 1970 label with artist name, title, notation that this painting won the 1st Purchase Prize in Oil, and list of judges name including Lamar Dodd, Ferdinand Warren, and Marshall Boudin, III, en verso. Housed in a wooden frame with gilt trim. Sight – 36 1/8" H x 44" W. Framed – 37" H x 44 3/4" W. American, third quarter 20th century. Biography: George Cress was born in Anniston, Alabama and studied at Emory University, American University, and the University of Georgia, where he studied under fellow Southern contemporary artist Lamar Dodd. He was a central figure in Chattanooga's arts community and served as President of the Tennessee Arts Council. He sat on the board of the Hunter Museum of Art. From 1951-1984 he was painter in residence at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. The Cress Gallery of Art at UTC is named in his honor. (Source: The Tennessee Historical Quarterly Vol. XLIV No. 2: "Landscape and Genre Painting in Tennessee 1810-1985"). Provenance: Art Collection of former Watkins College of Art; proceeds benefit scholarship endowment for students in the new Watkins College of Art at Belmont University. CONDITION: Overall good condition. Areas of scattered loss/exfoliation primarily to middle quadrant, largest 1 1/4" x 2" with radiating impact craquelure, center right.
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