The artist was born in Chicago, Illinois with the family name Simon and was also know as Gardner Symons. He studied at the Chicago Art Institute, becoming a close friend of artist William WENDT, and together they went on to paint in California and then in Cornwall (1898) where he became a plein-air artist under the tutelage of Julius OLSSON, Adrian STOKES, and Rudolph HELWAG.
The St Ives Times commented : 'Messrs Paul DOUGHERTY, Elmer SCHOFIELD and Gardner Symons are a trio of front-rank American artists who have at different times lived and worked in St Ives; the latter have become more especially famous for their snow studies, whilst Mr Dougherty devoted himself chiefly to sea-scapes and rhythmic movements of breaking waves on the coast.' Gardner Symons's primary studio was in Brooklyn, New York, though he also painted in California (Laguna Beach) and in Massachusetts. He returned to St Ives for a visit in 1914, and found an artists' community there numbering over a hundred. When the new St Ives Society of Artists began planning (1927) for a retrospective exhibition of work by former artists of St Ives, a painting by Gardner Symons was loaned for inclusion.
Painter of landscapes, especially water and snow, and marine subjects
works and access
Works include: St Ives on a Wet Day (1927)
Access: Brooklyn Institute of Arts & Sciences; Art Institute of Chicago; Scottsdale, Arizona (Fleischer)
STISA Retrospective 1927
National Academy of Design; National Arts Club; Lotos Salmagundi; RBA; Union Internationale des Beaux Arts
St Ives Times 5 Sep 1913
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p348)
Tovey (2010) Sea Change
Whybrow St Ives (1901-10 list pp 213-5)