The Vincennes Fortnightly Club
October. The Vincennes Fortnightly Club was entertained by the Art department on Wednesday afternoon. ...George Deem, Jr., artist, and at present a senior at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, gave a lecture entitled "An Initiation Into 20th Century Art." He explained how the modern concept of painting had its ground in the first half of the 19th century, saying that in the 1870s the Art Academy of France was classical and headed by Ingres and David. The impressionists who broke away from the Academy were Corot, Manet, Monet and Pissaro. Seurat demolished the impressionists with his famous picture, owned by the Art Institute, depicting an island near Paris, with figures on the bank, and then came the great modernists, Cezanne, Degas, Van Gogh and Gauguin. Mr. Deem illustrated his talk with colored slides showing paintings done by the artists he discussed and closing with Braque and Picasso. His exhibit of his own paintings includes 14 pictures, whose titles are "Forest Society," "The Swamp," "Girl in Red," "Femme et Chat" (Woman and Cat), "The Old Elevator," "Court House, Vincennes," "Cathedral Birds," "Trellis Woman," "The Angel," "Judy," "The Mower," "Marine Landscape," The Old Bridge, Heidelberg," and "The Hay Rake." These will remain on exhibit at the club house for a month.
-- Mrs. Ruth Ashby, Society Editor, "Fortnightly's Art Section Presents Youthful Painter," Vincennes Sun-Commercial, October 18, 1957.
Native of Decker Big City Success
Vincennes -- Patience and strength gained from working in the farm lands of his father has paid off for George Deem, a graduate of Decker High School and now on his way to success not only in the field of painting but of the dance.
Young Deem, son of the late George Deem Sr., returned to Indiana this past week from New York to give a request program for the seminarians at St. Meinrad Archabbey. St. Bede Hall was filled almost to capacity when he gave his personally illustrated lecture on the "Art of Movement" at the invitation of Father Gavin Barnes, OSB.
Dressed in black tights, a loose fitting black shirt and barefooted, young Deem illustrated with various body movements the way in which a speaking voice may be enhanced by motion.
George, a personable young man who says he is having a wonderfully full and exciting life in New York, attended Vincennes University after his graduation from high school in 1950; in 1952 he entered the Art Institute in Chicago to study painting in all forms as well as the background history of the arts.
He stayed there one year before entering the armed forces, when he was sent to Heidelberg, Germany, for a period of two years. While in Europe he spent all possible leaves visiting art centers and museums and did quite a bit of oil painting.
Upon his return to the U.S. in 1954, he immediately took advantage of his G.I. Bill and returned to finish his work at the Chicago Art Institute, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1958.
In the Fall of that year, George left for New York and almost immediately upon his arrival noted in the want ads that the Metropolitan Museum was advertising for extra help for Christmas season.
George applied and was given a job selling the museum Christmas cards and working in the mailing room. After the holidays he stayed on in the Office Service department of the museum and here he feels he was really given a big boost. It was part of his duties to deliver the mail to each of the rooms in the building; he met the people and being the likeable young man that he is, he fast made friends, who were all willing to help him advance in his work. He was told of an opening in the Display Dept., and here his artistic talents came into play.
Plans One-Man Show
Work kept him busy in the museum until the summer of 1960, when he left to open his own studio in New York. It is situated in a fairly new area for artists, on Fulton Street, near the fish market and just off Wall Street. His loft is the top floor of an old manufacturer building with the first floor a bar; the second story is occupied by a cabinet maker; the third floor is used as a studio by an Israeli sculptor and George is on the top floor.
George, whose favorite medium of painting is oil, sometimes does ink drawings. "I never sketch out, but I do walk around and gather images," says young Deem. He is planning a one-man show in the not too distant future and shows his painting in the Allan Stone Galleries on East 82nd Street in New York.
Painting is not the only talent this young man has. Raised on a farm in Johnson Twp., south of Vincennes, he was used to heavy work and much outdoor activity. He missed this in the city and while looking for some recreational activity, a friend suggested classes in modern dance. He enrolled in the Mary Anthony School of Modern Dance in late 1959 and found tremendous enjoyment in the work.
Given Lead Role
During 1961 he auditioned at Columbia University for a part in a program being planned by the Hebrew Arts School for Music and the Dance and to be given at Kaufmann Concert Hall in New York in February, 1962. Deem so impressed the choreographer with his great strength, in spite of his rather small stature, that he was immediately cast for the lead role of Jeremiah in the LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMIAH by Malcolm Goldstein for the world premiere of this production.
The program met with such success that it was included in the eighth World Dance Festival, sponsored by Columbia University by the foreign students grant-in-aid fund benefit in March, 1962. Three weeks of intensive day and night rehearsal was necessary for these two programs.
Deem had invited his teacher, Mary Anthony, to the program and the day after she called to ask him to take part in a presentation of the "Story of Esther" to be given by CBS on Sunday, March 18, in the program "Lamp Unto My Feet."
To Appear Today
In this number Deem plays a minor role in a dance which features Jillana, a member of the New York City Ballet Co., and Paul Sanasardo, who has his own dance studio in New York. Both are proteges of the famous Martha Graham.
During the first three months of 1961, Deem was a member of the Children's Dance Theater of Washington, D. C. The group, composed of four girls and two men, gave programs of three numbers for Children's theaters. In March they appeared in Evansville under the auspices of the Children's Theatre in a program at Bosse High School. Deem, who took the part of King Solomon in one of the numbers, was high in his praise for the gracious hospitality shown to him and the troupe while they were in Evansville. The group travelled in a station wagon loaded to the "gills" with equipment and costumes, and Deem doubled on the driving. He said it was great fun and that the tour taught them a great deal about actual performances in the theatre.
-- Anonymous, "Native of Decker Big City Success," Vincennes Sun Commercial, Vincennes, Indiana, March 18, 1962. Published with photo of George Deem in dance pose.