Artist Bruce Gregory stands on scaffolding inside the United Nations General Assembly in New York. This photograph was taken in 1952 during painting of the F. Léger murals as construction was being completed at the UN complex.
This is a view of the finished mural painted by Bruce Gregory in collaboration with Fernand Léger in the United Nations General Assembly. A second mural is located at the opposite side of the room. Recognized around the world, the two murals are the most famous artworks in the UN’s collection.
Bruce Gregory was a modern painter of nature, still life, and street scenes and was known for his mastery of color and his distinctive, bold and hard-shadowed painting style. A working artist and teacher throughout his life, he painted from his own observation and personal experience. Gregory traveled extensively during his lifetime. His artistic muse sprang from the people he met and the places he saw; his geography and natural surroundings were important to him. As such, his work is often distinguishable by the geographic area represented, even in abstraction. One can observe distinct periods in Gregory’s painting as well as bold variations in subject and style based on the geographic locations where he worked actively, as can be seen in paintings completed in Paris, France; Ibiza, Spain; New York; Florida; Eastport, Maine; and Mexico.
Early in his career, Gregory lived and painted in Paris. The experience of painting with his teacher, French artist Fernand Léger, was engrained in him during this period. Back in the United States, Gregory was an active member of the Woodstock, New York artist community in upstate New York where he was a summer resident for many years during the late 1930s through the 1960s. In Woodstock, he studied, painted and became friends with many other artists including Andrée Ruellan, John W. Taylor, Arnold Blanch, Doris Lee, Philip Guston, Amy Small, Albert Heckman, Dan Gottschalk, Julio De Diego, Lucile Blanch, Philip Held, Marty Deutsch, Eduardo Chavez, Mordecai Berkowitz, Marion Greenwood, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Agnes Hart, Sidney Laufman, Robert Plate, Peter Whitehead and others.
Gregory settled in Sarasota, Florida, in 1961, where he was an instructor at the Ringling School of Art & Design (now Ringling College of Art & Design). After retiring from Ringling in 1984 he continued to be a well-recognized figure on the Florida art scene for the remainder of his life. He exhibited and was widely known for his painting and papermaking.
One of two murals painted by Bruce Gregory in collaboration with French artist Fernand Léger at the United Nations in New York. The murals have become synonymous with the UN and have been on view for the world’s leaders in the General Assembly there for more than fifty years.
1917 - 2002
“ The world we live in is filled with a multitude of shapes, forms, and colors. I begin with nature and distill that original thought to its essence. I liberate the colors into broad areas to achieve a plastic contrast of shape, color and form. ”
- American Artist Bruce Gregory