George Baer (1893-1971)
Where: River Road
Baer, was born in Chicago, Illinois and attended the Chicago Art Institute. In Chicago, with his brother Martin, who was also an artist, Baer opened a studio. The brothers closed their studio in 1921 and traveled to Europe. From 1921-1928 they studied and painted in Germany, France, Algeria, Spain, England, Belgium, and Holland. Baer became known mostly for his oil paintings created in his own style, but was influenced by Van Gogh, Modigliani, M. Heymann, and Picasso. After a successful European trip, Baer returned to the United States and took a position teaching at the New York School of Applied Design for Women.
In the early 1930s Baer and his wife inherited her parents’ home on River Road from her father, Putnam Griswold. They turned it into the Summer Art School at West Cornwall. Students would stay for extended periods to learn painting, life drawing, watercolor, etching, pencil drawing, and all applied arts. Many wealthy women would travel to West Cornwall to vacation for a week or longer, and take classes from Baer. He also taught local students, including Cornwall’s own Arlington Yutzler.
Eventually Baer closed the school around 1940, and taught at the Salisbury School for the next 21 years. He died in Salisbury.