Oliver Dennett Grover (1861 - 1927)
View of Venice, 1912
Oil on canvas mounted on board
18 x 24 inches
Signed and dated lower left: Grover 1912
Oliver Dennett Grover was born in Earlville, Illinois, in 1861. Oliver traveled to Munich after studying four years at the University of Chicago. During the 1879-80 school year he enrolled in Munich's Royal Academy and studied with Frank Duveneck. In 1880, he was exhibiting at Munich's International Exposition. Grover followed Duveneck to Venice and Florence, then studied further in Paris between 1883 and 1885 under Boulanger and Lefebvre.
Back in Chicago in 1885, Grover opened a studio and founded the Western Art Association. We find him on the faculty of the Chicago Art Academy in 1887, where he remained for five years. Grover was the first to win the Yerkes Prize in 1892 for his painting Thy Will Be Done (Illinois Historical Art Project), which shows a woman facing some unfortunate news she has received, convinced that it is God's will. Grover was soon regarded as a highly respected traditional painter and art authority in Chicago.
During the World’s Columbian Exposition, Grover exhibited Thy Will Be Done and he executed Harem Scene in the Sheldon Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute, Indiana in 1899, a contribution to the Orientalist genre. The painter participated in the St. Louis Universal Exposition (showing three Venetian sketches), as well as annuals at the Pennsylvania Academy and the National Academy of Design. He contributed murals for the Blackstone Memorial Library in Chicago in 1903. His four lunettes represent Art, Literature, Science and Labor
Grover’s Ponte Vecchio, Florence and Rocky Shore: Lake Garda were on display at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. He was elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design in 1913. Grover had a space in the Tree Studio Building between 1914 and 1922. During the final decade of his life, Grover became an initial board member of the Association of Arts and Industries, which would become a major force in Chicago design during the 1920s and 1930s. The Art Institute of Chicago organized a memorial exhibition for Grover in 1928.