Jean Paul Selinger was born in 1850 in Boston. He studied art at the Lowell Institute, Boston and next trained abroad at the Art Academy in Stuttgart, and then under Wilhelm Lieble at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Selinger was a colleague of William Merritt Chase and became a skilled portraitist, genre painter, and landscape artist.
In the 1880s, Selinger opened an art studio in Providence and married Rhode Island-educated floral artist Emily Harris McGary (a distinguished silver medalist in Providence and Boston Art club competitions). Together, the Selingers became prominent fixtures both in Rhode Island and New England art circles.
Between 1886 and 1909, Jean Paul maintained summer studios at grand resorts in New Hampshire, where he achieved further regional and national recognition as a leading artist of the “White Mountain School.” His paintings were exhibited at, or became acquisitions of, prestigious institutions such as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Boston Art Club, the National Academy of Design, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the Bostonian Society.
Selinger was also a successful commercial artist whose 1904 painting Bringing the Wanderer Home won the national “Osbourn Prize.” His sentimental lithographs were distributed nationally by Providence outlets such as The Tilden-Thurber Company and became popular fixtures in households across America at the turn of the 20th century.
- James P. Marusak, Esq
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