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Portrait of the Artist and Others

Downing, Joseph

Portrait of the Artist and Others

oil on canvas

1965 Gift of Mrs. Frank Baer, Sr. and the Artist

A native of Kentucky, Joe Downing originally planned to become an optometrist. After World War II, he went to Chicago where he studied optometry by day and studied art at the Chicago Art Institute in the evenings. In 1950, he received his degree in optometry and decided to take a three-month vacation in Paris before beginning his optometry practice. He decided to make Paris his permanent home and he devoted himself to making art.

"Portrait of the Artist and Others" has a limited color palette applied in subtle, expressive combinations. Downing's paintings are drawn from his impression of Kentucky's landscape in spring and in autumn. Downing's work has been included in numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout the world.