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Folinsbee, John F.

John Fulton Folinsbee (1892-1972) was born in Buffalo and began his art studies there at the Albright Art Gallery at age nine. At fourteen he contracted polio and was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, but his with his indomitable spirit, his illness did not keep him from leading an active, full life. Folinsbee went on to study at the Art Students' League summer program in Woodstock with John Carlson and Birge Harrison. In 1916 he moved to a home on the Delaware River in Bucks County, wehre he painted winter landscape and river scenes. His works from this period emphasized the effects of light and atmosphere, employing the broken brushwork and bright palette characteristic of Impressionism. This work met with considerable success and Folinsbee exhibited widely, frequently winning prizes and awards. Among the venues where his work appeared were the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery, Carnegie Institute, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the National Academy of Design. In 1919 he was elected to the Academy and in that same year won the Academy's prestigious Hallgarten Prize. He traveled to England and France in 1926, after which his painting style changed dramatically, and by the 1930s he was working in an energetic, expressionistic style, producing darker, brooding works. He won a gold prize at the Pennsylvania Academy in 1931 and the Altman Prize at the National Academy in 1941 and 1950. Folinsbee generally painted his small canvases from nature and larger works in the studio from sketches. While most of his work is centered in Bucks County, he also painted seascapes in Maine during the 1930s and '40s. He was also an accmplished portrait painter, and many of his figural paintings feature his two daughters.