Jonas Lie was a prolific painter, known for his coastal views of New England and New York scenes.  He became the president of the National Academy of Design from 1935 to 1939, a year before his death.  Lie was also known for a series of paintings of the last days of construction of the Panama Canal in 1913.  These paintings were given to the United States Military Academy at West Point, in memory of General Goethals. His most award winning work from this series, The Conquerors, Panama Canal, now hangs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lie was born in Moss, Norway to an accomplished Norwegian engineer and an American mother.  Named after his uncle, a novelist and close friend of Henrik Ibsen, Jonas went to Paris to live with his uncle in 1892, after his father's death. Surely it was here, the twelve year-old boy was influenced by the creative spirit found in his uncle's home.

In 1893, Jonas moved to New York City, where he took evening classes at Cooper Union, the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League while working designing fabric patterns for a textile company to raise money to support his education.  After the completion of his education, Lie spent most of his summers along the New England coast and Canada. Here he would paint bright, impressionistic harbor scenes and rocky, coastal views, which he would exhibit regularly.

The landscapes and coastal paintings Lie created in New England can be characterized by a facile, broad handling of pigment and an impressionistic sense of light and air.  Lie once stated:

"Color is the chief medium through which we attain pictorial expression; but color must be interpretative, not imitative. In order to produce lasting work, the actual, visual impression we derive from nature should be less forceful, less vivid, than the accompanying mental impression. I do not want to attempt voluntarily to symbolize nature, but in portraying nature to impart a sense of what is within and what is beyond."

Associate Member, National Academy of Design, 1912
National Academician, 1925 (president 1934-39)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1934
National Arts Club
Century Club
American Federation of Arts
Boston Art Club
Three Art Club
Studio Club
Lotus Club
Salmagundi Club
Municipal Arts Commission
Municipal Art Society of New York
National Institute of Arts and Letters
Art Commission Association

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Annual, 1903-40 (medal for best landscape 1935)
St. Louis Exposition, 1904 (medal)
Corcoran Gallery Biennials, 1907-39
Art Institute of Chicago
Armory Show, 1913
National Academy of Design, 1914(prize), 1927 (prize), 1936 (medal), 1937 (prize)
Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, CA, 1915 (medal)
Newport, RI, 1925 (gold)
Society of Independent Artists, 1917, 1919, 1937
Art Week, Philadelphia, 1925 (gold)
Chicago Norske Klub, 1925 (prize), 1927 (prize)
Springville, Utah, 1927 (prize)
National Arts Club, 1929 (prize)
Amsterdam, 1928 (prize)
Whitney Museum of American Art, 1932

Cornell Fine Arts Museum, FL
Phoenix Art Museum, AZ
San Diego Museum of Art, CA
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
High Museum of Art, GA
The Art Institute of Chicago
Addison Gallery of American Art, MA
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Washington County Museum of Fine Art, MD
The University of Michigan Museum of Art
Detroit Institute of Arts, MI
The Newark Museum, NJ
The Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY
Arnot Art Museum, NY
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Everson Museum of Art, NY
The Cleveland Museum of Art, OH
Seattle Art Museum, WA
Wright Museum of Art, WI
Telfair Museum of Art, GA



Works by Jonas Lie