Nichols, succeeding Iowa artist Grant Wood, was art editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica from 1942 to 1948, and in 1930–1940, served as Carnegie visiting professor to the University of Illinois. As an early champion of good art in advertising and illustration, he created artwork for direct-mail industrial advertising in the 1930s and 40s. In 1935, his book elaborating his theories of art, A Philosphy of Esthetics, was published, and in 1957, he completed his book Figure Drawing, published by Watson-Guptill.
Nichols’s primary subjects were evocations the farm life he experienced in his early years in Nebraska. He stated, “I feel that an artist paints best what he has been exposed to during his youth. I think my memory paintings of my home state may be my only creations that I sign with full confidence.”
Above: Photograph of the 2012 installation of the exhibition at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
“I feel that an artist paints best what he has been exposed to during his youth. I think my memory paintings of my home state may be my only creations that I sign with full confidence.”
Organized by the Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art, David City, Nebraska.
This exhibition was sponsored locally by Corinna and Barry Wilson; Winifred and Charles A. Stakely, and Dawn and Adam Schloss.