Skip to main content

William Thon Art

WILLIAM THON (USA, 1906–2000)

William Thon was an American artist noted for his highly abstracted landscape images. He was born in New York City and spent his childhood summers camping on Staten Island. He developed a great love of travel, and in 1933 made an eight-month voyage to Cocos Islands in the Pacific. He debuted as a professional artist in the 1939 Corcoran Gallery Biennial exhibition. He joined the Navy during World War II, and shortly after the war won the Prix de Rome, a fellowship in Rome to the American Academy, for which he later served as a trustee. He received further recognition with his participation in the 1942 '"Artists for Victory" exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He held his first one-person show at the Midtown Galleries in New York in 1944. The gallery continued to represent him throughout his career. He had subsequent solo exhibitions at the Smith College Art Museum, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine. He received an honorary Doctor of Arts from the Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in 1957. He was a member of The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and the National Academy of Design. In 1947, Thon’s year-long study at the American Academy proved pivotal in his career, when he began working in watercolor. Upon his return to America, he submitted a watercolor to the 1949 exhibition of the National Academy of Design, and that year, he was voted into the Academy membership. From thereon, he frequently exhibited at the Academy and won prizes, including the Benjamin Altman Prize in 1951, 1954, 1961, 1967 and 1969. In 1951, Thon received a grant from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He often traveled to Italy, and in 1955 served in Rome as Artist-in-Residence at the American Academy. Thon chose to live in the relative isolation of Port Clyde, Maine, on a peninsula overlooking the sea, a quiet place, especially in winter. He preferred the company of sailors, craftsmen, lobstermen, a few fellow artists and his beloved wife, Helen. This area is credited as inspiring a stylistic breakthrough for Thon when he discovered an abandoned quarry near his property. There, he created numerous, increasingly abstract paintings of spidery trees with rectilinear slabs of interspersed granite. Each season, Thon would send his paintings off to the prestigious Midtown Galleries in New York City. His works bore the imprint of his vital connection to the raw, natural beauty of rural Maine, its rugged terrain, beautiful virgin forests, intemperate seas, and the human-made scatter of wooden buildings along its rocky shoreline. Thon continued to work even after macular degeneration had left him legally blind. From his estate gift of four million dollars, the Portland Museum of Art, Maine, received the biggest cash donation to that time. Thon was awarded numerous prizes and is represented in over 60 museum collections including, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Butler Institute of American Art, the Columbus Museum of Art, and in Maine, the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Portland Museum of Art, and the Ogunquit Museum of American Art.

(Biography provided by Keith Sheridan, LLC)
Applied Filters12 results
Artist:William Thon
to
Item Location
12
Height
to
Width
to
9
12
4
2
1
12
10,459
2,539
2,392
1,807
5
5
5
2
1
"At the Helm, Open Seas," William Thon, Mid-Century, Sailing, Maine Coast
By William Thon
Located in Wiscasset, ME
William Thon, although born in New York, painted and lived most of his adult life in coastal Maine. Thon studied at the Art Students League of New York, and exhibited in the 1930s an...
Category

Late 20th Century Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Paper, Ink, Gouache

Overgrown Quarry-Poster. New York Graphic Society Ltd. Printed in Switzerland
By William Thon
Located in Clinton Twp, MI
Overgrown Quarry-Poster. New York Graphic Society Ltd. Printed in Switzerland. Measures 25.5 x 30 inches and is Unframed. Good/Fair Condition-creasing/discoloration primarily in the ...
Category

1970s William Thon Art

Materials

Lithograph

Coastal Autumn-Poster. New York Graphic Society Ltd. Printed in Switzerland
By William Thon
Located in Clinton Twp, MI
Poster. New York Graphic Society Ltd. Printed in Switzerland. Measures 25.5 x 30.25 inches and is Unframed. Good/Fair Condition-creasing/discoloration primarily in the white border.
Category

1970s William Thon Art

Materials

Lithograph

In The Woods
By William Thon
Located in Myrtle Beach, SC
William Thon, 'In The Woods', watercolor, c. 1990. Signed, lower right; titled verso. A fine, painterly work, on off-white, wove watercolor paper, the image extending to the sheet ed...
Category

1950s American Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Watercolor

Upper Tuscany
By William Thon
Located in Myrtle Beach, SC
William Thon, 'Upper Tuscany', watercolor, c. 1955. Signed, lower right; titled verso. A fine, expressionist work, with fresh colors, on cream watercolor paper; the image extending t...
Category

1950s American Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Watercolor

The Ruby R
By William Thon
Located in Myrtle Beach, SC
William Thon, 'The Ruby R', watercolor, c. 1990. Signed, lower right; titled verso. A fine, expressionist work, on off-white watercolor paper; the image extending to the sheet edges....
Category

1950s American Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Watercolor

Alongside
By William Thon
Located in Myrtle Beach, SC
William Thon, 'Alongside', watercolor, c. 1990. Signed, lower right; titled verso. A fine, expressionist work, on off-white watercolor paper; the image extending to the sheet edges, ...
Category

1950s American Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Watercolor

"Sailing II," William Thon, charcoal, modern, 20th century
By William Thon
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

20th Century Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Charcoal

UNTITLED
By William Thon
Located in Portland, ME
Thon, William. UNTITLED. Ink on paper, not dated, but 1989. Signed in brown ink, lower right. About 9 x 12 inches, framed to 15 3/8 x 18 3/8 inches. Provenance, collection of Roz and...
Category

1980s William Thon Art

Materials

Ink

"Gaff-Rigged Schooner," William Thon, ink wash, sailing, modernist
By William Thon
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

20th Century Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Ink

"Silvery Day," William Thon, ink wash, sailboats, coastal, modernist
By William Thon
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

20th Century Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Ink

"At Sea," William Thon, ink wash, sailboat, modernist, 20th century
By William Thon
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

20th Century Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Ink

Related Items
"At Sea," William Thon, ink wash, sailboat, modernist, 20th century
By William Thon
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

20th Century Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Ink

"Silvery Day," William Thon, ink wash, sailboats, coastal, modernist
By William Thon
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

20th Century Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Ink

"Gaff-Rigged Schooner," William Thon, ink wash, sailing, modernist
By William Thon
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

20th Century Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Ink

"Sailing II," William Thon, charcoal, modern, 20th century
By William Thon
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

20th Century Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Charcoal

Rolling Seas
By Samuel Peter Rolt Triscott
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

1890s Realist William Thon Art

Materials

Watercolour, Gouache

"Rolling Seas," Jesse Leach France, watercolor, gouache, seascape, impressionist
By Jesse Leach France
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

Early 20th Century Impressionist William Thon Art

Materials

Watercolour, Gouache

"Figures in the Garden," George Stimmel, Impressionist watercolor and gouache
By George Stimmel
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

1920s Impressionist William Thon Art

Materials

Watercolour, Gouache

"Village on the Côte d'Azur," Gerard Hordyk, gouache and watercolor, ca 1920-30
By Gerard Hordyk
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

1920s Impressionist William Thon Art

Materials

Watercolour, Gouache

"Swirling Seas," Nathaniel Dirk, watercolor, seascape, modernism, ca 1940s
By Nathaniel Dirk
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

1940s Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Watercolour

Gulls
By John Mulcahy
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

1940s Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Watercolour

"Village Road," Ethel Louise Paddock, watercolor, modernist, landscape
By Ethel Louise Paddock
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

20th Century Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Watercolour

"Summer Village," Ethel Louise Paddock, watercolor, modernist, landscape
By Ethel Louise Paddock
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Category

20th Century Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Watercolour

Previously Available Items
Island Fisherman's Houses
By William Thon
Located in Myrtle Beach, SC
William Thon, 'Island Fisherman's Houses', watercolor, c. 1950. Signed, lower right; titled verso in pencil. A fine, expressionist work, with fresh colors, on cream watercolor paper;...
Category

1950s American Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Watercolor

Late Winter
By William Thon
Located in Hudson, NY
William Thon (1906-2000). Late Winter, 1963. Oil on masonite panel, 25 x 42 inches; 30 x 47 inches framed. Signed lower right. Gallery labels affixed en verso. Excellent condition. ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Abstract Expressionist William Thon Art

Materials

Masonite, Oil

  • Late Winter
  • Late Winter
  • Late Winter
  • Late Winter
H 25 in. W 42 in. D 1 in.
Under Way
By William Thon
Located in Wiscasset, ME
William Thon, although born in New York, painted and lived most of his adult life in coastal Maine. Thon studied at the Arts Student League in New York, and exhibited in the 1930s an...
Category

20th Century Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Ink

  • Under Way
  • Under Way
  • Under Way
  • Under Way
H 9.69 in. W 12.94 in.
Homeward Bound
By William Thon
Located in Wiscasset, ME
William Thon, although born in New York, painted and lived most of his adult life in coastal Maine. Thon studied at the Arts Student League in New York, and exhibited in the 1930s an...
Category

20th Century Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Ink, Watercolor

  • Homeward Bound
  • Homeward Bound
  • Homeward Bound
  • Homeward Bound
H 7.38 in. W 11.44 in.
Full Sail
By William Thon
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Born in New York, William Thon painted and lived most of his adult life in coastal Maine. Thon studied at the Art Students League in New York, and exhibited in the 1930s and 40s at t...
Category

1960s Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Ink

Two Boats
By William Thon
Located in Wiscasset, ME
Born in New York, William Thon painted and lived most of his adult life in coastal Maine. Thon studied at the Arts Student League in New York, and exhibited in the 1930s and 40s at t...
Category

Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Gouache, Watercolor

Two Boats
H 9 in. W 11.5 in.
"Lobster Boats, Maine Coast," William Thon, ink wash, nautical, seascape, modern
By William Thon
Located in Wiscasset, ME
William Thon, although born in New York, painted and lived most of his adult life in coastal Maine. Thon studied at the Arts Student League in New York, and exhibited in the 1930s an...
Category

20th Century Modern William Thon Art

Materials

Ink

Artists Similar to William Thon