The work of Michael Lenson will be featured in an exhibition opening Sunday at the Butler Institute of American Art Trumbull Branch.
Lenson (1903-1971) is best known for his murals, many of which were painted during the Depression as part of the Works Progress Administration. He is described as "New Jersey's most important muralist" in "Who's Who in American Art" and his work can be seen at City Hall in Newark, N.J., and other government buildings.
Lenson was born in Russia and his family came to America when he was 8 years old. In 1928 he won the Chaloner Prize, a national competition that gave him $10,00 to use to study art abroad. He lived in England and France and took trips to other European cities before returning the U.S. in 1932.
According to an essay by Kate Nearpass Ogden in a the catalog accompanying the exhibition, Lenson had one-man shows at many New York galleries and New Jersey colleges and museums, and he was featured in numerous group exhibitions, including at the Butler in Youngstown in 1965.
Lenson also served as director of the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts and taught at Rutgers University's Newark Center, Fairleigh Dickinson University and the Montclair Museum Art School. He was a regular contributor to the Newark Sunday News.
The Butler-Trumbull exhibition includes 61 pieces, ranging from large oil-on-canvas paintings to charcoal-and-pencil sketches. The exhibition was curated by Gary T. Erbe, a realist painter whose work has been featured many times at the Butler, with assistance from Lenson's son, Barry Lenson.
"Time, Place and Substance: A Retrospective Exhibition of Works by Michael Lenson" runs Sunday through Jan. 27 at the Butler Trumbull Branch, 9350 E. Market St., Howland. An opening reception is planned from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, call 330-609-9900.