American / Illinois / England (1861-1927)




Oil on Canvas, on Board

Signed and Dated "Oliver Dennett Grover 1919" L.L.


Museums : Art Institute of Chicago, Eagle Nest Colony Art Collection (Oregon IL), High Museum of Art,

The John H. Vanderpoel Art Association, Union League Club of Chicago


Books : (36), including, American Paintings for New Collectors (Schwarz-Philadelphia); Art Across America:

The Far Midwest, Rocky Mountain West, Southwest, Pacific, The Friedman Collection: Artists of Chicago, & Art Across America:

The South, Near Midwest (Gerdts, 3); American Art at the Nineteenth Century Paris Salons (Fink, Boime, Broun);

The History and Ideals of American Art (Neuhaus);


Note :

Oliver Dennett Grover was regarded during his lifetime as an art authority in Chicago, which he believed would become "a leader in the world of art".  The year after his death, The Art Institute of Chicago organized a memorial exhibition for Grover.  In 1879, Grover enrolled in Munich's Royal Academy, studying with Frank Duveneck, traveling further to study with him in Venice and Florence.  At the young age of 19, he was already exhibiting at Munich's International Exposition.


After additional studies in Paris with Boulanger and Laurens, he returned to Chicago and was a major force there for the rest of his life. He was awarded the Yerkes prize in 1892 for a large work, Thy Will Be Done, which he again exhibited at the World's Columbia Exposition.  His work resides in many museums, collections, and public institutions, including The High Museum, St. Louis Museum, Cincinnati Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Detroit Art Institute, and the Union Club of Chicago.


Hillside in Summer, 1919, is quite French Impressionist in its feel, as are many of his viewed works.  The short broken brushstrokes in this work dance back and forth across the canvas foreground, the tree trunks weaving a vertical latticework in lost-and-found values against a sunlit hillside and farmhouses, reversing how a less creative painter might have depicted the scene. It is an exceptional example of his work that we are pleased to offer.


Additional Biographical Information Below



Image Size : 12” x 16”





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Birth place: Earlville, IL

Death place: Chicago

Addresses: London, England; Chicago

Profession: Mural and landscape painter


Studied: University of Chicago, 1877-79; Royal Academy, Munich, 1879-80; Duveneck School, Florence, Italy, 1880-84; Acad?mie Julian, Paris with Boulanger, Lefebvre, and J.P. Laurens, 1883-97; Art Institute of Chicago


Exhibited: Paris Salon, 1884; National Academy of Design, 1886; Chicago Society of Art, 1892 (prize); Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, 1898, 1913-15, 1926; St. Louis Expo, 1904 (medals); Fine Arts Building, Chicago 1906 (prize), 1914 (prize); Municipal Art League Chicago, 1910 (prize); Art Institute of Chicago, 1913 (prize), 1918 (gold); Corcoran Gallery, 1914, 1916, 1926; Pan-Pacific Expo, San Francisco, 1915 (medal).


Member: Associate National Academy, 1913; Chicago Painters & Sculptors; Salmagundi Club; Art Institute of Chicago; Portrait Painters; National Arts Club; Cliff Dwellers, Chicago; Arts & Industries; Chicago Gallery of Art; Chicago Art Club.


Work: Public Library, Branford, CT; Chicago Public Library; Union League Club, Chicago; Art Institute of Chicago; St. Louis Art Museum; Detroit Art Institute; Cincinnati Art Museum


Comments: Specialty: Italian subjects. Grover also traveled to the Pacific Northwest.


Sources: Who’s Who in American Art, 1925; P&H, 199; Fink, American Art at the Nineteenth-Century Paris Salons, 349; Falk, Exhibition Record Series.

 This biography is drawn from the 'Who Was Who in American Art' , the reference book on the cultural life in the United States.



 Additional Biographical Information


Born in Earlville, Illinois, Grover (1861-1927) was the son of the lawyer Alonzo Jackson Grover, moving with his family to Chicago early in his life.  While growing up in Chicago, he spent much of his time at the Academy of Design sketching. In 1879 he enrolled in Munich’s Royal Academy , studying with Frank Duveneck.  At the early age of 19, he was exhibiting at Munich’s International Exposition.  Grover followed Duveneck to Venice and Florence, thence to study further in Paris between 1883 and 1885 under Boulanger and Lefebvre.


In 1884 he went to Paris for a year to study under Gustave Boulanger and Jean-Paul Laurens. By the fall of 1885 he returned to Chicago and until 1892 he was an instructor at the Art Institute of Chicago (for five years).


Returning to Chicago in 1885, Grover opened a studio and founded the Western Art Association.  He served on the faculty of the Chicago Art Academy from 1887-1892.  Grover was the first to win the Yerkes Prize in 1892 for his painting Thy Will Be Done (Illinois Historical Art Project), depicting a woman facing some unfortunate news she has received, convinced that it is God’s will.  Grover was soon regarded as a highly respected traditional painter and art authority in Chicago.  Clarkson (1921, p. 137) described how “his work as chief instructor at the Art Institute did much to raise the character of that school.” 

During the World’s Columbian Exposition, Grover exhibited Thy Will Be Done.  In 1899, he executed Harem Scene, a contribution to Orientalist genre,  now in the Sheldon Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute, Indiana.  Grover participated in the St. Louis Universal Exposition (showing three Venetian sketches), as well as annuals at the Pennsylvania Academy and the National Academy of Design.  He contributed murals for the Blackstone Memorial Library in Chicago in 1903.  His four lunettes represent Art, Literature, Science and Labor, executed in the rather hieratic and symmetrical American Renaissance mural tradition. Grover’s Ponte Vecchio, Florence and Rocky Shore: Lake Garda were on display at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.  A writer for The Graphics said of Grover, “He has great faith in Chicago, and believes the city will be a leader in the world of art.”  


Grover was elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design in 1913. He had a space in the Tree Studio Building between 1914 and 1922. During the final decade of his life, Grover became an initial board member of the Association of Arts and Industries, which would become “a major force in Chicago design during the 1920s and 1930s.” (Prince, 1990, p. 124). 


Grover’s work includes portraiture, landscapes and decorative designs. He remained in Chicago for the rest of his career, but often traveled to Europe for inspiration. e also traveled to the Pacific Northwest where he did landscape paintings of Banff. The Art Institute of Chicago organized a memorial exhibition for Grover in 1928.

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Oliver Dennett Grover Hillside in Summer, 1919, Oil on Canvas