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 Celebrating Our 24th Year 

Artwork by Irving Shapiro

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About the Artist

(1927-1994)  "Irving Shapiro was born in Chicago on March 28, 1927. He studied painting at the Chicago Art Institute and the American Academy of Art in Chicago. He taught art at the American Academy of Art from 1945 until 1994 and served for many years as its Director and President. The American Academy of Art Library has been named after Irving Shapiro.

His watercolors have been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and, most recently, in China. His works hang in galleries, in hundreds of corporate offices, in private collections, as well as the Illinois State Museum collection.

In 1992 Irving Shapiro was given the Artist's Achievement Award in Watercolor by the American Artist Magazine. He won the High Winds Medal and the Mary Litt Medal at juried shows of the American Watercolor Society. Shapiro was one of the youngest artists ever admitted to signature membership in the American Watercolor Society.

In addition to teaching and to his administrative responsibilities at the academy, he lectured in the U.S., Italy, France and Switzerland. Six of his demonstrations in watercolor painting were videotaped and distributed widely.

His book, How to Make a Painting: Planning, Procedures and Techniques in Watercolor, was translated into eight languages.

He served on the boards of a number of organizations, including the American Watercolor Society, the Midwest Watercolor Society (now the Transparent Watercolor Society of America) and the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago.

Irving Shapiro went out into nature to make sketches, color samples, and black-and-white photographs for his watercolors. Then, back in his studio, he would begin his large paintings. He believed that only the fewest of pencil lines should be used to give guidelines to the composition, which he designed in his head. First, he applied the main color washes to define the large areas of the painting. He preferred risking mistakes while being bold and fresh with the paint, rather than risking getting bogged down in static details." taken from