Ogden Minton Pleissner (1905-1983)

Ogden Minton Pleissner (1905-1983)

Native of Brooklyn, New York, Ogden Pleissner loved the outdoors and is best remembered today for his watercolors of New England landscapes and hunting scenes.  He studied at the Art Students League in New York and went on to develop a superb watercolor technique, often compared to that of his contemporary, Aiden Lassell Ripley.  

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Immediately following his graduation from art school, Pleissner headed for the open spaces of the American West.  His earliest paintings depict the wilderness of the Grand Tetons, where he began to experiment with watercolor and developed the technical skills which are so admired today.  A consummate sportsman, hunting and fishing trips often were combined with painting expeditions.  His travels were soon interrupted by the onset of World War II, however, when he left the United States to illustrate the invasion of Normandy for Life Magazine.  As part of the war effort, Pleissner also went to the Air Force base in Adak, one of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.  There he documented the B-24D planes that fought against Imperial Japanese forces from 1942 to 1943. Twenty B-24D planes were commissioned during the war, but only two are known to exist today.       

After the war, Pleissner concentrated on urban European scenes, a subject matter for which he also became well known. His precise, realistic watercolors earned him vast recognition, and he became a member of the American Water Color Society, the National Academy of Design and the Salmagundi Club in New York. In 1932, the Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased one of his oils, making him the youngest artist in its collection. Paintings by Pleissner are also in collections of the Amon Carter Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Cincinnati Art Museum.

References: Who Was Who in American Art; Zellman, M.D., American Art Analog, Chelsea House, NY, 1986. 

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