Nan Watson


Nan Watson (1876–1966) was an American artist known for the flower paintings, portraits, and still lifes she made during the 1920s and 1930s. Showing frequently in group and solo exhibitions, she received praise for both the aesthetic and technical qualities of her work. Critics described her paintings as sincere, forthright, and direct and said they demonstrated good draftsmanship, harmonious composition, and fresh color values. In 1929, the art historian Lloyd Goodrich said, "One knows no other painter of flowers who captures so completely their delicate life without becoming in the least sentimental about it or lapsing into merely technical fireworks." In 1932, Edward Alden Jewell, the principal critic for the New York Times published a lengthy critique of one of her shows. In it, he wrote, "The field is thronged with artists who paint flowers; many of these artists are highly successful, though few are seen to arrive at the goal of superlative distinction. Among those who do attain this coveted goal, Nan Watson must certainly be numbered." At the same time, Margaret Breuning of the Evening Post wrote concerning the flower paintings, "It is the ability of the artist to give lyric transcription of natural forms in terms of design which imbues these canvases with their significance." Concerning Watson's portraits, Breuning noted a "surety of draftsmanship" and Watson's "fine perception that pierces to the essentials". Similarly, an unsigned review of 1928 said Watson succeeded in producing a "candor, directness, [and] fidelity to personal conceptions that one finds delightful in a world where there much conformity to standards of aesthetic performance from which the timid or the conventional may not deviate." This critic concluded, "Not only sensitive perception and technical skill are to be enjoyed in this engaging exhibition, but the revelation of personality that has gone into the making of each canvas."

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Country of birth

United Kingdom


Artist, painter

ULAN identifier



Nan Watson

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Information from the Getty Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License. Accessed July 18, 2024.