Guy Pène du Bois
American, 1884-1958
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

Named for his father’s friend, author Guy de Maupassant, Guy Pène du Bois was raised among the cultural elite, who would become a frequent subject of his work. In 1899, he entered the New York School of Art; there, he learned his loose, gestural handling of paint from William Merritt Chase, while Robert Henri inspired him to work from contemporary life. A keen social observer, he deftly captured the pretensions and preoccupations of the day with gentle irony in his simplified, stylized figures. Active in the New York art scene in the early 20th century, he was a member of the Society of Independent Artists and the Whitney Studio Club, as well as a teacher at the Art Students League and critic. On du Bois’ death, Edward Hopper wrote, “He certainly was the best friend I had in art.”

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