Emile Albert Gruppe
1896 – 1978

Emile Gruppe was born in 1896 in the city of Rochester, New York to a decidedly artistic family.  His father, Charles, was a painter, but the artistic tradition did not stop there.  His brother Karl was a sculptor, his brother Paulo was a cellist and his sister Virginia worked with watercolor painting.  It should be no surprise in retrospect that Emile was destined for a successful artistic career as well, best known for his portrayals of the quintessential New England houses and harbors of Massachusetts as well as the scenic rural views of Vermont.

Gruppe would spend his younger days in Katwyk an Zee, a fishing village in Holland.  His father had established himself here as both an artist and a dealer of art.  However, with the beginning of World War I, the family would return to the United States.  Gruppe had learned the rudimentary techniques of painting and drawing from his father, and he then took that foundation with him as he went on to attend classes at the Art Students League in New York City.  In addition to this he also studied with John Carlson in Woodstock, New York.  It was here that he would gain an appreciation for the outdoor painting that would typify the bulk of his career.

He would continue to focus his subject matter on the locales of upstate New York until he visited an exhibition at the National Academy of Design where he was exposed to paintings of the New England fishing port of Gloucester, Massachusetts.  He decided to visit the area to experience the ambience himself, making his first trip in 1925.  He was immediately drawn to the area and began spending his summers there establishing a studio in East Gloucester as well as teaching plein-air classes to students who were captivated by his artistic style and outgoing personality.  He operated the Gruppe Summer School, established in 1942, until 1970.  Additionally he would make occasional winter trips to Jeffersonville, Vermont where he was taken by the picturesque country roads, farms and forests to which he would also devote his artistic energies.  Later in life he would spend winters in Florida where he painted and provided instruction.  He died in East Gloucester on September 28th, 1978.

Collections Include:
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana
Maier Museum of Art at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, Virginia
Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

1896 – Born in Rochester, New York
1925 – First trip to Gloucester, Massachusetts
1942 – Gruppe Summer School Established
1978 – Dies in East Gloucester, Massachusetts

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