Painter Milton Avery (American, 1885–1965) is celebrated for his intimate portraits, still lifes, and landscapes, painted with broad, rich swaths of color. Born in New York, Avery moved to Connecticut as a young man, and worked jobs in several factories to support himself while taking painting classes at the Connecticut League of Art Students, in Hartford. He moved to New York City in 1925, and studied at the New York Art Students League. Inspired by the work of American Impressionists and French painter Henri Matisse , Avery painted in a representational mode, often depicting portraits of his closest family and friends in addition to American landscapes and seascapes.

His work displayed an increasingly abstract aesthetic over the next two decades, with highly reduced forms in expansive, flat planes of color. Avery’s work was relatively unknown to critics until 1929, when the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., became the first museum to purchase his work; later, exhibitions at the Phillips Collection and at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York further solidified his reputation as a master colorist. Often considered a precursor to later American abstract movements, Avery’s work exerted a particular influence on later Color Field painters, many of whom were his friends. He died in 1965, at 79 years old. His paintings have been exhibited, among other institutions, at the Brooklyn Museum and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.


Born in Sand Bank, NY
Studied in art at the Connecticut League of Art Students on a part-time basis, Hartford, CT
Became a member of the Connecticut Academy of the Fine Arts, Avon, CT
Won the Top Honors at the School of the Art Society of Hartford, Hartford, CT
Enrolled in classes at the Art Students League and frequented sketch classes, New York, NY
Died in Woodstock, NY


Milton Avery, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Placing Avery: Paintings and Prints from the Collection of the Neuberger Museum of Art, The UBS Art Gallery, New York, NY
Milton Avery from the Kaufman Collection, Coral Springs Museum of Art, Coral Springs, FL
SAND: Memory, Meaning and Metaphor, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY
Landscape: Form and Thought, Ingrao Gallery, New York, NY
Magical Means: Milton Avery and Watercolor, Knoedler & Company, New York, NY (solo)
Milton Avery and the sea: Works on Paper, Alpha Gallery, Boston, MA (solo)
Milton Avery, Jacob Lawrence, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY
Marine: Paintings of the Sea, Crane Kalman Gallery, London, UK
Milton Avery: A Retrospective of Nudes, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL (solo)
Continuum : 130th Anniversary of the Art Students League of New York, ACA Galleries, New York, NY
Discovering Milton Avery: Two Devoted Collectors: Louis Kaufman and Duncan Phillips, The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC (solo)
Watercolors from the Collection, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Milton Avery: Select Works 1933 - 1963, Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo)
Painting and Sculpture From The Harn Museum Collection,Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL
Drawings, Drawings, Drawings, Margarete Roeder Gallery, New York, NY
Milton Avery: Late Work, Landscapes and Seascapes, 1951 - 63, Waddington Galleries, London, UK (solo)
The Cities Collect, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Art at Work: Forty Years of the Chase Manhattan Collection, Queens Museum of Art, New York , NY
Modernist Selections, Adelson Galleries, Inc., New York, NY
Color & Field, American Contemporary Art Gallery, Munich, Germany
Milton Avery, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
The Landscape, Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, NY
Etchings of the Twentieth Century, Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Milton Avery: Works on Paper, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (solo)
The Drawings of Milton Avery, Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GA (solo)

Public Collections

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra,Canada
National Gallery of Canada, Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa, Canada
Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya, Israel
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain
Tate Britain, London,U.K
Kennedy Museum of Art, Athens, OH
Binghamton University Art Museum, Binghamton, NY
Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, MI
Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, CT
Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN
Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA
Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC
The Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi
The Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH
El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA), El Paso, TX
Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX
Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL
Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
Castellani Art Museum, Lewiston, NY
University of Kentucky Art Museum (UK Art Museum), Lexington, KY
Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE
Maier Museum of Art, Lynchburg, VA
Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT
Grey Art Gallery, NYU, New York, NY
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
The Snite Museum of Art, Notre Dame, IN
Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA
Pensacola Museum of Art, Pensacola, FL
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ
Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY
Reading Public Museum, Reading, PA
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY
Vero Beach Museum of Art, Vero Beach, FL
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, D.C.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.


Hobbs, Robert. Milton Avery: The Late Paintings. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2001
Hobbs, Robert. Milton Avery. New York: Hudson Hills Press,1990