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George M. Bruestle
Lyme Art Colony
(December 21, 1871–August 14, 1939)
In Lyme: 1900-1927
George M. Bruestle (1871-1939) was born in New York City. He started his art studies when he was fifteen years old enrolling in the Art Students League where he studied under Mowbray. In 1890 around the time of his first trip to Paris he turned to Impressionism. Bruestle moved to Paris in 1893 and remained until 1896. Upon his return he became a successful illustrator in New York for Harper’s between 1897 and 1901. Throughout this time he made trips to Essex and Lyme where he loved to paint and sketch.
In 1900 when the Lyme Art Colony was officially formed, he was spending time in Hadlyme. In 1901 he married Emma Thomsen. The following year, they had a son, Bertram. In 1905 they bought a house in the Hamburg section of Lyme. It became their summer residence. They continued to reside in Manhattan during the winter.
Bruestle is best remembered for his small and intimate oil paintings of the Lyme countryside. Although family life in Hamburg kept George from participating in a number of the festivities held at Miss Florence Griswold’s house, where the art colony was centered, he was still very much involved in colony activities and a close friend to many of the artists. In 1923 he was named secretary of the Lyme Art Association.
Aside from his association with the Lyme Art Colony, his work was widely exhibited. During the First World War he exhibited with a group called "Painter Friends" made up of neighbors Guy Wiggins, Wilson Irvine, and Edward Volkert, as well as George Macrum, Robert Nisbet and Carl Nordell. In 1931 his work was among 42 canvases selected by The American Federation of Arts in Washington, D.C. for a traveling exhibition.
His awards include the Shaw Prize, Salmagundi Club, 1930 and the Vezin Prize, 1935.
He was a member of the Salmagundi Club, the Allied Artists of America, the Lotos Club, the National Arts Club, the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, the Lyme Art Association, and the Associate National Academy.
George Bruestle died on August 14, 1939.