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Lloyd Raymond Ney

Lloyd Raymond Ney (1893---1965) [1] was born in Friedensburg, Pennsylvania and died in New Hope, Pennsylvania. An only child, his art talent was recognized by his parents, though they themselves were not involved in art or culture. They allowed him to leave high school to attend at the Industrial School of Art in Philadelphia. Moving on, he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1914 to 1918. In 1917, he was awarded the prestigious Cresson Travelling Scholarship. While he toured Europe after World War I in 1918, he then settled in Paris to absorb the bursting art scene.

Pablo Picasso, Vasily Kandinsky, William Blake, Jules Pascin, MoÏse Kisling, Léonard Fujita, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Frederick Frieseke were all instrumental in expanding Ney’s art experiences in Paris [2]. Though he continued to do figural and still life paintings, the pieces he is maybe better known for are inspired by many of the avant-garde art movements being explored in Europe: Post-Impressionism, Constructivism, Orphism, Futurism, and Synthetic Cubism. Ney’s paintings exhibit active, even aggressive, curves, circles, angles and other geometric shapes in both black and white and vibrant color. 

Ney worked in many media, including watercolor, ink, oil, mixed media, tempera, and pencil with assurance. Hilla Rebay, Curator at the Guggenheim, included Ney as a favorite abstract/non-objective painter in many exhibits [3]. Three of Ney’s paintings are part of the Guggenheim’s permanent collection.

Upon returning to America, he settled in the art town of New Hope. More contemporary than some of the artists in New Hope, he was part of the “Independents” group and the “New Hope Modernist School” there [4].

A friend of Ney’s invited Margaret Lefranc to come and look at Ney’s watercolors. After that, Lefranc included Ney among the many artists of note shown at the Guild Art Gallery [5].

As with other struggling artists, he was awarded a commission from a part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to paint a mural for the New London, Ohio, post office. For officials, his preparatory cartoon was too modern, but the townspeople wanted it and therefore won the debate in favor of the avant-garde mural in their town.

His art works were shown in many European shows and in the major exhibit in 1991 after his death in the James A. Michener Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, along with some of this fellow modernist painters [6]. A subsequent exhibit at the same venue in 2016 was titled, Lloyd Ney: Local Color [7].

[1] 1964/5 is listed in the Lloyd Raymond Ney papers, 1902---1987.  Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.




[5] Katz, Lois.  A Lifetime of Imaging:  The Art of Margaret Lefranc.  Miami:  Nouveau Ventures Unlimited, Inc., in association with the Margaret Lefranc Art Foundation, 2007. p. 106.



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