Ezra Winter

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Ezra Augustus Winter (March 10, 1886 – April 6, 1949)[1] was a prominent American muralist.

Winter was born in Traverse City, Michigan, trained at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts in 1908, and the American Academy in Rome in 1914. Winter became extremely successful and commanded high prices for his work. In 1924 he taught at the Grand Central School of Art.

Winter studied art at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and was a fellow in visual arts at the American Academy in Rome in 1914. Among his best-known works are The Canterbury Tales in the Library of Congress and Fountain of Youth in the foyer of Radio City Music Hall. He also completed murals for the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the University of Rochester and Eastman School of Music, and a six-story work for the Guardian Building in Detroit. During World War I Winter was a camouflage designer for the U.S. Shipping Board. He later taught at the Grand Central School of Art and kept a studio in Falls Village, Connecticut. Winter was associated with the National Society of Mural Painters and the Architectural League of New York. He served on the Connecticut State Commission of Sculpture and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, from 1928 to 1933, and was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. His papers are in the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution.[2]

While painting one of his murals, Ezra Winter took a step back, forgetting the extreme height at which he was at, and fell. He suffered from a broken and compacted tailbone. After this he was unable to paint because of an unsteady hand and pain because of the accident. Winter killed himself in 1949 with a shotgun near his Connecticut studio at the age of 63.

His work includes:

Ezra Winter's Canterbury Tales mural (1939), Library of Congress John Adams Building, Washington, D.C.


  1. ^ William Henry Smith Memorial Library
  2. ^ Thomas E. Luebke, ed., Civic Art: A Centennial History of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, 2013): Appendix B, p. 557.
  3. ^ Cass Gilbert, Life and Work: Architect of the Public Domain, by Barbara S. Christen, Steven Flanders, page 225