Carl Lawless (1894-1964)
Oil on linen
Mystic Museum of Art Permanent Collection
Donated by James H. Allyn

Carl Lawless, a native of Illinois, studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts prior to World War I. Like Arthur Meltzer before him, Lawless was a recipient of the Cresson traveling scholarship from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and studied in Europe after the war’s end. Upon his return he relocated to Pennsylvania. He became enchanted by the shore town of Mystic, Connecticut when visiting a married couple with whom he had studied in Europe. He later purchased a home in Mystic in 1925 and immediately became an active member in the budding Mystic Art Association.

The most notable aspect of Lawless’ approach to landscape and floral painting is his ability to incorporate certain patterns into an overall design that is authentic to nature. Light and shadow also have a prominent role in Lawless’ artwork, a quality which he most likely adopted from a fellow Mystic resident and member of the art association, Charles Harold Davis (1856-1933).

In addition to MMoA, Lawless’ work is represented in the collections of the Pennsylvania Academy, the Carlisle, Pennsylvania Museum, the New Haven Public Library, and Connecticut State College, Storrs Campus.