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Gleason, J. Duncan

Joe Duncan Gleason (1881-1959) studied at the University of Southern California with Lees Judson and attended the Art Institute of Chicago. He also studied with Frank DuMond at the Art Students' League in New York. In the East, he worked as a magazine illustrator, earning enough to travel in Mexico, Europe, and North Africa. Returning to California, Gleason painted Impressionist-style landscapes and seascapes. He had several successful solo exhibits at local galleries and was also an accomplished athlete on the Roman "flying rings." After his marriage in 1919, Gleason returned to New York, illustrating and painting portraits. He developed an interest in marine painting and traveled frequently to New Bedford and Fairhaven, Massachusetts to study windhammers and whaling ships. He made detailed ship models and in 1922 published a book of etchings on sailing ships. In 1924 he moved back to California and by the mid-1920s was making visuals for scripts at MGM and Warner Brothers studios. Gleason also taught art and was popular as a speaker for dinners and fund-raisers. He became increasingly involved with art clubs and was a vocal opponent of modernism in art, which he viewed with suspicion. He was active in the California Art Club, the U.S. Power Association, and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Gleason was an active lobbyist for the creation of California state marine parks.

Title: Minesweepers Patrolling At Dawn
Medium: oil on canvas, signed lower right, 25" x 30"