Born 1897, Vienna, Austria
Died March 15, 1988, Neshaminy Falls, Pennsylvania
Watercolorist Gustav Nilson was born in Vienna, Austria, where he abandoned his study of engineering to study at the National Arts Academy, and with the two most famous poster artists of the time; Lucian Bernhard in Berlin, Germany and later with Julius Klinger in Vienna. By 1922 he was an established poster artist. That same year he designed the posters for the American Gold Loan in Austria. It was through this work that he met the American Consul, who suggested he come to America. Nilson came to New York, where he worked as a freelance designer for advertising firms and as an art director for several large lithography houses. This experience led him to establish a business, New York Art Service, in which he was a partner. Nilson's well-known watercolors of Bucks County barns, covered bridges, antique shops and old mills reflect his love for the area, his home since 1941. He also painted harbor scenes of the New England Shore and Europe.
Image: Gustav Nilsson, photograph by John Sutton, The Nancy Hellebrand Collection, 1978, James A. Michener Art Museum library