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Study for the Grand Canyon

Study for the Grand Canyon

Elliott Daingerfield
Study for the Grand Canyon, 1911
Oil on Board
Permanent Collection 2006.2.03

John Elliott Parker Daingerfield (1859 - 1932) has been recognized as one of North Carolina’s
most important artists. Daingerfield was born in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, but he was raised
nearby in Fayetteville, NC. Daingerfield knew early on that he wanted to be an artist. Inspired
by other American artists of the age, such as his friend and mentor George Inness, Daingerfield
grew into a prolific American painter. After moving to New York in 1880 to pursue his passion
at the age of 21, he enrolled and exhibited at the National Academy of Design and took classes
at the Art Students League. By 1886, Daingerfield fell ill and returned to Blowing Rock to heal.
He later chose to spend his summers here to paint and study the landscape of the Blue Ridge
Mountains. He built several homes, including Edgewood, Windwood, and Westglow, all three of
which still stand today. The remainder of his career consisted of traveling back and forth from
New York to North Carolina to teach, draw, and paint.

Daingerfield is best known for his paintings of landscapes, religious scenes, and still lifes. His
style shows influences of impressionism, with light and color dominating a painting’s composition
and hints of tonalism are also present, as seen in his darker paintings. Daingerfield was trained
traditionally and rejected realism. He began a painting with small studies — quick sketches in
pencil, and then continued with smaller versions of what would soon be large, polished works
of art. He also felt a deep, spiritual connection with nature and often painted en plein air. The
mountains surrounding Blowing Rock were a constant source of inspiration.

Daingerfield passed away in his studio in New York in 1932 and was buried in his hometown of
Fayetteville, NC.