Douglas Volk (1856 - 1935)
Pond and Trees, n.d.
Oil on panel
4 x 6 inches
Hewnoaks, the artists home
Douglas Volk was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts into an artistic family, and his father was the sculptor Leonard W. Volk. Volk studied abroad at St. Luke�s Academy in Rome and later studied with the Academic painter Jean-Leon Gerome in Paris. He exhibited in the Paris Salons, and back in the United States at the Brooklyn Academy of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the National Academy of Design and the Boston Arts Club, amongst numerous exhibitions across his lifetime.
Volk taught painting at the Cooper Institute in New York, and later at the Art Students' League, New York, 1893-8. He was a founder of the Minneapolis School of Fine Arts, and also was commissioned to do murals for the Minnesota Capital reception rooms. Volk later taught at the National Academy of Design in New York City.
While Volk adopted the painterly brushwork associated with the Impressionists, his work never lost the sense of substance and realism learned at the academies of Europe. He showed great finesse in rendering the figure, and is know for his elegant images of women in particular. He also painted lovely still lifes with an attention to botanical detail and woodsy palette similar to that of John La Farge.