ILLINOIS HISTORICAL ART PROJECT
John Thomas Nolf (1871-1950)
Born on July 23, 1871 in Allentown, PA, he died May 28, 1950 in Dixon, IL.
Here is information you might find useful about John Thomas Nolf from Clarence J. Bulliet, Chicago Daily News, 9/14/1935.
Nolf, who founded an art school in Grand Detour, Illinois, was close friends with the Illinois artist Mattie Lietz. Of his coming to fine art he explained: “My training started in morning newspaper offices of the west in the days of hand composition out in Pendelton, Ore. Being a ‘print’ in those days enabled a young fellow to easily satisfy his feeling for the ‘wanderlust.’ So I wandered about. In Astoria, Ore., I got my first real artistic ‘pick’ trying to sketch boats and whalers and seal fishers who were ‘outfitting’ for the north seas. From there on to Spokane, Butte, Salt Lake, Denver, etc., too numerous to mention. At last in Chicago where I pitched my tent on the steps of the Art Institute and waited or the Goddess of Art to grab me and drag me in. She did… I left the printing trade and worked at commercial art for years. At last, I gratified the cravings of my soul and went into painting.”