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Douglas Volk Portrait

Douglas Volk

Also Known as: Stephen A. Douglas Volk, S. A. D. Volk

Pittsfield, Massachusetts 1856

Fryeburg, Maine 1935

Photo Caption:
Douglas Volk, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0002248

Luce Artist Quote

“With the painters of red-yellow-blue enigmas [Volk] had nothing in common . . . He was a conservative and was proud of it.” Quoted in “Volk is Dead,” Art Digest, February 15, 1935

Luce Artist Biography

Douglas Volk was the son of Leonard Wells Volk, a well-known American sculptor. When he was fourteen, his parents took him to Rome and enrolled him in art courses. From Italy he traveled to Paris and trained with the academic artist Jean-Léon Gérôme, who teasingly called Volk and his friend George de Forest Brush “twins” because they looked similar and spent a good deal of time together. In 1886, Volk founded the Minneapolis School of Fine Art, which he directed until 1893. He returned to New York, where he sustained his commitment to education, lecturing on the moral value of art at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. He was also an instructor at Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design (Franklin, American Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, vol. II, 1998).