Ida Nash Gordon
George Jo Mess
- Howard County
- Brown County
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Ida Gordon was born in Windfall, Indiana in 1903 and lived in Kokomo for 41 years with her husband Virgil. She was educated at Indiana University and studied portraiture in New York and Paris at the American Academy. She would go on to spend the next 20 years in Brown County, during which time she painted more than 1,000 canvases, averaging 150 per year. She and her husband purchased and renovated the former cabin of artist Adolf Shulz. In Nashville she studied under artists Marie Goth, Derk Smit, George Jo Mess, and Homer Davisson and received private instruction from Goth, Davisson, Marilyn Bendell, and Leonard Richmond. Gordon also maintained a home in New Smyrna Beach, Florida where she would paint sea scenes during the winter. Throughout her career she also performed live painting demonstrations to artist groups in surrounding communities.
Gordon’s style is impressionistic and her paintings are said to convey feelings of enjoyment by choices in color, light source, and composition arrangement. She was most well-known for her floral still lives, many of which were painted from arrangements of flowers that her husband grew at their home. Additionally, she also painted landscapes, seascapes, and noteworthy portraiture. The artist received further recognition for her well-lit scenes done in the manner of Monet, one of her favorite artists. She spent many hours on her paintings and is quoted saying, “I paint for myself. I don’t paint for the money…I like for a painting to be painterly, to give expression to the feelings for which we have no words. Each painting is an experience which the viewer must share if the painting is to be meaningful to him.” (Hoosier Art Collection excerpt, Kokomo Howard Public Library)
Gordon had many prominent memberships, exhibitions, and accolades. Since 1959, she was an active member of the Brown County Art Gallery Association and was a member of its board of directors. She was also a member of: the Indiana Artist Club; Hoosier Salon; Indiana Heritage Arts, Inc.; the Federation of Art Clubs; and is listed in The Marquis “Who’s Who” of America and “Who’s Who” of the Midwest. Gordon had solo-show exhibitions at the Brown Country Art Gallery Association, Hoosier Salon, Indiana State Fair, and the Sherman House in Chicago. Additional exhibitions included: the New York Gallery of Fine Arts; Raymon Duncan Galleries in Paris; Lafayette Square Cinema; and the State Life building. She received awards for her paintings at John Herron, the State Fair, the Hoosier Salon, and a New York Gallery. Finally, one of her paintings received accolade and was selected for an art show in Paris. The artist died in 1983 in her Florida home. At the time of her death she was survived by one daughter, Donna Bugher.
[IMA Research Library Artist Files; Hoosier Art Collection of the Kokomo Howard Public Library 1989; Brown County Democrat Mar. 23, 1972, Oct. 5, 1973, Aug. 10, 1977, June 6, 1979 & intermittent articles from 1974-76; Indianapolis Star Aug. 14, 1977; Indianapolis News Sept. 27, 1979]