We Buy Paintings by Alexis Jean Fournier
Born in 1865 on the fourth of July in St. Paul, Minnesota, Alexis Jean Fournier was one of the most flamboyant and enduring figures of the Arts and Crafts movement, and was also an impressionist painter of major importance in Minneapolis from 1883 to 1893. Fournier, a Barbizon-style artist, whose career as the “Roycroft Court Painter” spanned over forty-five years, has been lauded as one of the most prolific artists of the Arts and Crafts period as well as an influential force in Elbert Hubbard’s Roycroft community in East Aurora, New York.
Although the photography career of his son Paul was comparatively less impressive in terms of longevity and notoriety, the works of both the elder and the younger Fournier helped diversify and change American art history as well as contribute to the progressive thinking of the Roycrofts. Had photography been considered an art form on the level of Barbizon and impressionist painting during the Arts and Crafts era, perhaps the younger Fournier would have enjoyed a career as successful and praised as that of the elder.
By age 14, he was working as a sign painter and scenery artist for Vaudeville and, although he had virtually no formal artistic training, had sold several pieces, mostly landscapes, by the time he was 16. In 1886 he became a student of Douglas Volk, ultimately setting up a professional studio in Minneapolis.
One of Fournier’s patrons was J.J. Smith, who hired Fournier to be the staff artist on an archaeological trip to the Southwest. Following this trip Fournier painted a 50′ x 12′ panoramic mural called “The Cliff Dwellers.” The painting was intended for exhibit at the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, where it is likely, but not documented, that Fournier met Elbert Hubbard for the first time. Hubbard, the beloved spiritual guide and business leader of the Roycroft community of artisans and craftspeople, would eventually become one of Fournier’s greatest patrons and admirers. “The Cliff Dwellers” ultimately disappeared, having been sold without record. Its location is still unknown.
In addition to his activities with Roycroft, Alexis J. Fournier painted at the artist colonies in Woodstock, New York; Provincetown, Massachusetts; and Brown County, Indiana.
Many of these artists were either native to Indiana or lived, worked, and studied around the Midwest in the early 20th century, specifically in Indiana locales such as Indianapolis, Brown County, Muncie, Nashville, Portland, Richmond, South Bend, and southern Indiana.
Several artists studied or were integral figures at Indiana institutes such as the Fort Wayne Art School, Muncie Art School, Indiana School of Art, and the Richmond School. Others were associated with entities such as the Brown County Art Colony, Hoosier Group, Hoosier Salon, and the Richmond Art Museum. The artwork we are seeking includes impressionist, landscape, oil, still life, and watercolor paintings from these Indiana artists.
Brown County Art Colony
The Brown County Art Colony was formed in the early 1900s by artists who were attracted by the undisturbed picturesque landscape known as Peaceful Valley. T.C. Steele was the first to become a resident of the county when he purchased 200 acres near Belmont. Adolph Shulz is considered to be the founder of the Brown County Art Colony. He began visiting Brown County in 1908 and in 1917 became a permanent resident. Both Adolph Shulz and T.C. Steele influenced other artists and many began building cabins and moving to the area.
Will Vawter and Gustave Baumann were among the first to make Brown County their home. Other artists such as Charles Dahlgreen, Lucie Hartrath, and L.O. Griffith came from Chicago and by the early 1930s there were at least eighteen artists with permanent homes in Brown County.
Artists such as C. Curry Bohm, Edward K. Williams, Ada Walter Shulz, Carl Graf, V.J. Cariani, Gustav Baumann, Will Vawter, Dale Bessire, Georges LaChance, Marie Goth, Leota Loop, Adam Emory Albright, Olive Rush, and Alexis Fournier flourished and created the Brown County Art Colony nearly 100 years ago.
- Letsinger-Miller, Lyn. The Artists of Brown County. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994.
- Nesbit, M. Joanne, ed., Barbara Judd, comp. Those Brown County Artists: The Ones Who Came the Ones Who Stayed the Ones Who Moved On. Nashville: Nana’s Book, 1993.
Sell Us Your Indiana Art
If you are interested in selling us your Indiana art, please contact us online, give us a call or SMS at 812-327-0401.