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John Adams Spelman (Senior) (1880-1941)

John Adams Spelman was born in Owatonna, Minnesota in 1880. His interest in painting began in early childhood, and Spelman would go on to study at the Minneapolis Museum of Art as well as Chicago’s Art Institute.

John Adams Spelman was an avid outdoorsman, excelling in hunting, trapping, and fishing. Unsurprisingly, his paintings reflect the great love he had for the outdoors, depicting rich landscapes. Spelman’s work often depicted favorite places from his childhood and adult life, carrying fond memories and a special attachment to him. Using broad brush strokes and a strong contrast of lights and darks, Spelman’s paintings create a strong visual impact while transporting the viewer to a scene that was clearly very dear to him.


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