(1922 – 2003)
Primarily known for his lyrical portraits, Jerome Ryan was both a painter and a sculptor. He was commissioned to do the portrait of Governor Rudy Perpich for the Minnesota State Capitol. He did a series of portraits of Presidents of the United States for General Mills. He has painted portraits and sculpted heads and busts for Supreme Court judges and corporate leaders. He also enjoys painting landscapes and nudes in both watercolor and oil.
When I sold a major portrait commission of two teenage daughters of a wealthy banker, I immediately called Jerome. I offered him the commission, the use of my studio, and a spare bedroom. He was a wonderful guest. His breakfast was toast with special peanut butter and thinly sliced garlic. It was fun to hear him rant about politics and watch him work on the portrait. Once, during a long sitting, the family puppy came in and laid down at the girls feet. With a few deft brush strokes, Jerome included the dog in the painting. As I knew it would be, the painting was a dazzling success.
Like me, Jerome loved beautiful women. His charcoal and graphite drawings show the expressive lines and curly-Q’s of a seasoned painter. Sadly, Jerome died of heart failure in 2003.
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