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George Tooker | Embrace

George Clair Tooker, Jr. (1920-2011) was in a relationship with the artist Paul Cadmus from 1944-1949 and was a part of the PaJaMa artists collective during that time.
He is featured, often nude, in many of their images from that period.
In the mid-1950's Tooker met his long time partner, painter William R. Christopher, and they lived together in New York City.
They moved into a house they had built in Hartland, Vermont in 1960.
The couple were involved in the Civil Rights Movement and participated in one of the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965.

He taught at the Art Students League of New York from 1965 to 1968.
He spent his winters in Málaga, Spain.
A few years after Christopher's 1973 death, Tooker converted to Catholicism.
His faith was very important to him, as he was very much involved with his local church.
Tooker died at the age of 90 in his Hartland, Vermont, home due to kidney failure

Tooker wanted to attend art school rather than college, but ultimately abided by his parents' wishes and majored in English literature at Harvard University, while still devoting much of his time to painting.

During 1942, he graduated from college and then entered the Marine Corps but was discharged due to ill-health.
He had a long-time partner, William R. Christopher, who died in 1973.
Although he was raised in a religious Episcopalian family he later converted to Catholicism.

Tooker died on March 27, 2011, due to kidney failure.
In 1943 Tooker began attending at the Art Students League of New York, where he studied with Reginald Marsh and Kenneth Hayes Miller.
Early in his career Tooker's work was often compared with other painters such as Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper and his close friends Jared French and Paul Cadmus.

Working with the then-revitalized tradition of egg tempera, Tooker addressed issues of modern-day alienation with subtly eerie and often visually literal depictions of social withdrawal and isolation.
Subway (1950; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City) and Government Bureau (1956; Metropolitan Museum of Art) are two of his best-known paintings.
"Waiting Room" (1957; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.) reveals him as a Social Realism painter.

In 1968, he was elected to the National Academy of Design and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Tooker was one of nine recipients of the National Medal of Arts in 2007.