Robert Fremont Conover Biography

Robert Fremont Conover




Robert Fremont Conover, painter, printmaker, and teacher, was born in Trenton, New Jersey on 3 July 1920. He grew up in Morrisville, Pennsylvania and, as a teenager, he began his art studies at the Barnes Foundation. Conover enrolled in the Philadelphia Museum School in 1938 but his studies were interrupted when he was drafted in 1942.

After his discharge in 1945, Conover moved to New York where he enrolled in classes at the Art Students League. There he studied with Will Barnet and George Grosz and made his first prints. Conover was awarded a Shiva Scholarship in 1948 which allowed him to study at the Brooklyn Museum School, where he was a student of Max Beckmann, Reuben Tam and William Baziotes.

In 1949, Conover won the New Talent contest sponsored by the Laurel Gallery in New York, which resulted in his first solo exhibition. The following year his paintings were included in the Whitney Museum’s Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Painting, and, in 1951, he was included in the Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.

Conover won a fellowship in the summer of 1954 to work at the MacDowell Colony at Peterborough, New Hampshire. He began teaching in 1957 at the New School for Social Research in New York and, in 1959, Conover was a fellow at Yaddo, the artist’s colony at Saratoga Springs, New York.

Besides teaching at the New School for Social Research, Conover also taught at the Lenox School and the Brooklyn Museum School. In 1966, he became an instructor of printmaking at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts. Conover retired from teaching in 1986 and a solo exhibition of the New School for Social Research spanned his career. He was elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design in 1992 and was elevated to Academician in 1994.

Robert Conover is represented in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Cincinnati Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, Michigan; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; the British Museum, London; the National Academy of Design, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and the Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts.

Robert Conover died in New York on 5 October 1998.