Thomas Willoughby Nason — engraver, etcher, and illustrator — was born in Dracut, MA on January 7, 1889 and died in New London, CT in 1971. ( Dracut and Lowell were one in the same at one time. Part of Dracut was purchased by a group of business men in the 1800s and the city was named after Francis Cabot Lowell. Lowell was incorporated as a city in 1836).
In 1929, Nason's address was listed as 34 Spring Street, Reading, MA. His specialty was wood engraving and his subject matter consists of landscapes, rivers, hunters, dogs, grazing cows, rolling meadows, and sturdy oak trees. Nason, commonly referred to as "the poet engraver of New England, " was widely respected for his wood-block prints that capture the beauty and grace of the New England countryside.
Nason studied at Tufts College but is generally considered a self-taught artist. His technical ability to capture mood and depth in his prints clearly demonstrates his mastery of the relief print technique. Nason was a member of the National Academy of Design in New York City; the National Institute of Arts and Letters in New York City; the Society of American Etchers; the Salmagundi Club in New York City; the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts; the Chicago Society of Etcher; the Lyme Art Association in Lyme, CT; the Philadelphia Society of Etchers; and Associate member of the National Academy of Design in 1936.
Nason's exhibits and awards include a prize for best print at the Philadelphia Print Club in 1929 and 1930; a prize at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1930; a prize at the Library of Congress in 1943 and 1945; a prize at the Society of American Etchers in 1935, 1938, and 1945; the City of Warsaw in Poland; a prize at the Woodcut Society of Kansas City in 1937; the Albany Printmakers Club in 1936; the Northwest Printmakers in 1933 and a prize in 1932.
Nason's work is represented in the collections of the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell, MA; the New York Public Library; the Brooklyn Museum; the Boston Museum of Fine Art; the Cleveland Museum; the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC; the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, MA; the Boston Public Library; the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, AL; the Mattatuck Museum of Art in Waterbury, CT; the University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor, MI; the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, MN; the Museum of Art and Archaeology in Columbia, MO; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO; the Art Gallery, University of NH in Durham, NH; the Museum of Art at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT; the Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, WA; the San Diego Museum of Art; the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.
References: Who Was Who in American Art, vol. I, page 443; Davenport's Art Reference 2001/2002, page 1352; Mantle Fielding,1986, page 656; Mallett, page 308; Dealer's Choice Biographical Encyclopedia of American Painters... page 999; Whistler House Museum of Art files.