Nelson Shanks (1937-2015) [NM]


First name: Nelson ;
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Last name:
Shanks ;

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John Nelson Shanks (December 23, 1937 – August 28, 2015) was an American artist and painter. His best known works include his portrait of Diana, Princess of Wales, first shown at Hirschl & Adler Gallery in New York City, April 24 to June 28, 1996 and the portrait of president Bill Clinton for the National Portrait Gallery.

Shanks had been on the faculty of the Memphis Academy of Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Art Students League of New York, the National Academy of Design and Studio Incamminati and was a resident of Andalusia, Pennsylvania. He was an honorary member of the American Society of Classical Realism Guild of Artists.

Shanks was a painter, teacher and art historian influential in the revival of Classical Realism in the United States. His portraits of royalty, politicians and celebrities added to his international profile as one of the foremost contemporary figurative painters. Shanks’ philosophies and skills were shared through his teaching at various public and private institutions. In 2002, he founded Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his wife, Leona Shanks; an academy dedicated to the study, practice and spread of realist art using the philosophy and techniques espoused by Shanks.




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Record birth date:
March 4, 2022

Last updated: October 17, 2022 at 9:41 am