Plein air heritage: Edward Dufner artist
Edward Dufner at work outdoors, Peter A. Juley & Son, photographic firm (J0000179), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC

As a plein air painter, you are part of one of the largest art movements in history. Learn about those who have helped start this movement in some way, and be inspired to continue your own journey.

Plein Air Heritage: Edward Dufner (1872-1957)

The year 1910 marked a dramatic shift in Edward Dufner’s style of painting. It was then that he adopted an impressionist manner and began producing vibrantly painted pastoral scenes both outdoors and in his studio.

In some, he included young women and children who posed for him, and critics and collectors of the time responded positively to his skillful incorporation of light effects. The critics went so far as to dub Dufner “the painter of sunshine.”

Dufner, a native of Buffalo, New York, began his formal artistic training at the age of 15 when he enrolled in classes at the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy. After three years, the young artist was the recipient of the institution’s Albright scholarship, which enabled him to continue his education in New York City.

In 1898, he went to Paris, and he spend the next 5 1/2 years traveling throughout Europe; he was a student at the Académie Julian and also studied under expatriate painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Whistler’s influence is evident in the fluid brushwork and dark, monochromatic palette seen in Dufner’s early tonalist landscapes, which were exhibited at the Paris Salon and in the United States.*

*Portions of this text incorporate biographical information provided by Questroyal Fine Art, LLC in New York, New York.

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