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collections > permanent collection > paintings >EMILE WALTERS
Emile Walters
(American, b. Canada, 1893-1977)
Mountain Range, n.d.
Oil on canvas, 16" x 20"
Gift of the Estate of Margery Wolf-Kuhn (88.006.014)


Emile Walters’ landscape paintings range from a kind of free Impressionism seen in the Museum’s Mid-Winter Landscape to the more expressionistic mode of Mountain Range, a brooding Nordic scene reminiscent of American modernist Marsden Hartley.  Mountain Range depicts a view of Kalfstindar, a group of peaks on Iceland, where Walters lived for a period.  Painted in a deliberately naïve, almost crude manner, Mountain Range evokes the rugged terrain and harsh climes of the Far North. 


Born in Winnipeg, Canada to Icelandic immigrants, Emile Walters was still a boy when he came to North Dakota in 1898.  His training included three years at the Art Institute of Chicago and three years at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, as well as study at the Tiffany Foundation.  His landscapes were well received, and during his career, he won a number of significant awards.  From 1922 to 1934, Walters taught summer courses at Pennsylvania State University while painting landscapes of the surrounding scenery.  The artist maintained a connection with his Nordic roots, however, and later he settled in Iceland to depict stark views of that country and neighboring Greenland.  Walters eventually resumed painting in the United States, and toward the end of his life he lived in Upstate New York.  He died in Poughkeepsie in 1977.