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   It was Jean Lipman, in her book American Primitive Painting, published by Oxford University Press in 1942, who revived Rufus Porter’s idea that what Lipman described as “purely native, unacademic American art” was in every way the equal of European-style studio art. If there is one artist working today who can be called the heir to this tradition of creative freedom it is Christopher Gurshin, who lives and works in Glastonbury.

Chris Gurshin

   Instead of attending art school, Chris, who grew up sketching boats and old houses in Marblehead, Massachusetts, opened a tiny studio in nearby Essex where he painted tavern signs and furniture. His next studio was rented from an antique dealer in Newburyport who gave him a copy of Jean Lipman’s book, Rufus Porter: Yankee Original. The book inspired Chris to stay on his instinctive path of using the Americana mode as a base for innovation. Over time, his unique style resulted in more and more people commissioning him to do paintings and murals, until today his work is known and collected all over the world. Gurshin was commissioned to paint murals in the historic Wayside Inn, where he holds a popular seminar once a year. The one constant about Christopher Gurshin is that he is always stretching himself creatively. Besides murals and paintings on canvas, his work includes—but is not limited to—wood boards, wood boxes, miniature pine houses of all sizes, decorated old tin, prints, cards, pencil drawings, and decorated furniture.

Mansfield Drive-in and Marketplace

Olde New England Salvage

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