Susquehanna Antique Company - American Artists and Furniture

Charles Gus Mager, American 1878-1956

Charles Gus Mager, American 1878-1956


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Directory: Fine Art: Paintings: Oil: N. America: American: Pre 1920: Item # 1248375
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28.5" x 35.5" oil on canvas, inscribed on label verso, "Jersey Shore" Beach view. bio from askart.com: Charles August "Gus" Mager was born in l878 in Newark, New Jersey. The son of a diamond setter who worked in the city's jewelry district, Mager's father had hoped that his son would follow him in the flourishing Newark jewelry trade. To oblige his father, Gus tried out the jewelry business for a short time, but he knew that art was his calling and he joined the Newark Sketch Club. There, under the influence of artists, Paul Reininger and Will Crawford, he gained an admiration for the work of Vincent Van Gogh, which would later be apparent in his work. Crawford directed Mager in the field of illustration, and was largely responsible for his early success as a cartoonist for the New York Journal and the New York World newspapers. For many years, Mager was the artist for Hawkshaw, The Detective, a cartoon series. Mager was a close friend and colleague of members of "The Eight", including George Bellows, William Glackens, Walt Kuhn and John Sloan. In 19l3, Mager's friend, Walt Kuhn, encouraged him to enter two paintings for exhibition at the famous Armory Show in New York. The show represented a departure from the old ways of the National Academy, and four years later resulted in the birth of the Society of Independent Artists where Mager was a frequent exhibitor. Mager also exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Salons of America and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He painted landscape and still life compositions in a modernist style which borrowed elements from Cezanne and Van Gogh. Mager's work was represented by the Rabin and Kmeger Gallery in Newark along with the work of John Grabach, also a friend. Mager’s paintings are in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Newark Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Montclair Art Museum. Mager was self-taught.