Dublin Core



Alger paints a beautiful bouquet of pink, red and yellow chrysanthemums in a yellow vase. What strikes you immediately is the balance of his painting, the chrysanthemums rising symmetrically to fill the frame, their leaves drooping down to further balance the frame and fill negative space. The colors, too, are congruous: vibrant reds and fuchsias of the chrysanthemums are complemented by softer yellows of their discs and the vase; lush greens are contrasted by the dry brown of dying leaves. Alger's brushwork is visible enough to be striking, but he blends enough that the strokes are soft on the eye.

About the Artist: The son of Irish immigrants, Alger was born in Boston, MA and studied at the Lowell Institute of Design and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Around 1914, he began dividing his time between Massachusetts and showing his work in New York group exhibitions; a 1921 review of the Whitney Studio Club declared that its “chief interest centers about the technical novelty of John Alger. He has painted some sand dunes with a sweeping grace despite the fact that his colors, always modest, are laid down flatly and without accent” (New York Tribune 18 Dec. 1921: 50). Another admiring critic thought Alger had “developed a point of view which represents the utmost in simplification without, however, becoming in any sense of the word an abstractionist” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle 7 Mar. 1926: 66). Alger was a founding member of the Salons of America. In later years, he seems to have taught art lessons in addition to his painting. 5 more images at FAP.


Alger, John, 1879-1967








Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Oil painting

Physical Dimensions

16 x 19.5 in.
Condition: slightly chipped, paint thinning