About the Artist
Born and raised in the New York Metropolitan area, John H. Page has been a professional artist for over 20 years. He began his formal study of art at the Swain School of Design, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1985. The school, founded in 1884, was located in New Bedford, Massachusetts, a city once known throughout the world as the nation’s leading whaling port. Its artistic past is likewise storied, having been the childhood home of painters Albert Bierstadt and Albert Pinkham Ryder. Another local artist to achieve international acclaim, William Bradford, known for his luminous depictions of the North Atlantic sealing grounds, set out on his Arctic painting and photographic voyages from the city’s waterfront. It was into this rich heritage that the budding artist arrived.
Page quickly grew to love the region’s unique landscape and its broad, encyclopedic collection of old buildings, many, at least then, in various states of disrepair. Along with a few of his fellow artists, he was to turn his attention to these buildings and their South Coast environments, often tramping through the woods or over the coastal dunes to capture that intersection where the two met. He states that it is often in this intersection that he finds himself most comfortable, recording the struggle between the two; nature seeking to reclaim that which it only grudgingly ceded and the structure in opposition, stubbornly clinging to its original purpose long after its utility has been compromised. An ardent traveler, his paintings often depict those locations to which he has traveled; the buildings he has seen often rise again within the confines of the picture plane.
Page is a classical landscape painter, but draws his inspiration from artists as varied as John Constable, John Marin, Maurice Prendergast and the early-twentieth-century Canadian movement known collectively as the Group of Seven. “The two things of most immediate concern to me when starting a picture are structure and color. In the initial stages of the painting, I try to concern myself with the development of what is known as the ‘golden ratio’, and with the movement of specific colors within the picture plane. As the picture develops, I try to build off of these elements, since they add focus and interest to the finished composition.”
After completing his undergraduate studies, his interest in architecture extended beyond the canvas when Page worked for a time as an architectural draftsman. He continues to design houses and occasionally constructs architectural models, which he claims are all outgrowths of this original interest in the nature of the built environment. Following his stint in the architecture office, Page began work in the museum field, where he remains today. He is a 1997 alumnus of the Museum Studies program at Harvard University, where he concentrated on museum management and administration. In 2007, he completed an MA in art history at Hunter College in New York City, having prepared his thesis on the little-known, but notable collection of artwork owned by the City of New Bedford’s Free Public Library.
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