Mt. Vernon, Illinois, native Ivan Summers established himself in the early 20th century as one of the accomplished practitioners of American Impressionism with colorful landscapes of his adopted home of upstate New York. He graduated from the St. Louis School and Museum of Fine Arts where he was an award-winning artist.
His painting style is spontaneous yet disciplined, with an eye towards recognizable form. His use of color is lively and complex throughout his compositions.
In the 1910s, Summers earned commissions painting World War I officers’ portraits. In the 1930s, he worked as a Works Progress Administration artist and later at Hallmark, where cards bore several of his etchings.
An inspiring and mentoring art teacher, Summers worked throughout the country. Summers taught art at the Kansas City Art Institute, South Carolina Art School Charleston, in Arizona schools, and then eventually became the Director of the prestigious Art Student League’s Summer School in Woodstock, New York.
Significantly, Summers painted landscapes throughout the country, traveling to such painting meccas as Cape Cod and Cape Ann, Maine; Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts; Taos, New Mexico; El Paso, Texas; and the great California coast.