Painter Oliver W. Nuse, 81; Taught Art At Penn Charter

Posted: April 13, 1995

Oliver William Nuse, 81, of Lansdale and Stockton Springs, Maine, former art department chairman at the William Penn Charter School and a distinguished expressionist painter, died Friday at his home in Lansdale.

In his early years of painting, Mr. Nuse was known for his work in gouache and oil. He enjoyed painting backstage scenes of the circus and the fishing docks of Gloucester, Mass.

He was concerned with social issues, and his most recent work was semiabstract.

"His subject matter dealt with the oppressed peoples of the world such as victims of the Holocaust and victims of other repressed situations, in mixed media, including woodcut, oil painting and other medieval techniques," said his daughter, Judith Nuse Belasco, an artist and teacher at Germantown Academy.

Mr. Nuse was born in Oberlin, Ohio, and grew up in Bucks County.

He was the son of Roy Nuse, a successful portraitist and landscape painter who was a professor at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for many years.

Mr. Nuse studied simultaneously at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his bachelor's degree and then a master's degree in fine arts in 1940. He won both the Toppen Award and the Cresson Travel Award for study and travel in Europe.

He also studied at the American Film Institute Leadership Seminar in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Described by his daughter as being a prolific painter all his life, Mr. Nuse exhibited in numerous juried invitational shows and in several one-man shows at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the University of the Arts, the Woodmere Art Gallery, and the Philadelphia Art Alliance. He also exhibited in many smaller Philadelphia area galleries and in many public collections and galleries nationwide.

He made two documentary films for the Philadelphia Board of Education.

A dedicated art educator, Mr. Nuse chaired the art department and taught at William Penn Charter School for more than 30 years. He also served as head of the summer school and on the Overseers' Committee.

Mr. Nuse was active in art education with the National Association of Independent Schools and the Friends' Council on Education. He served on the faculty at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and taught at the Fleisher Art Memorial for many years.

He had a long association with the education committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, made films for the museum's calligraphy exhibit in the late 1960s, and worked on its third International Festival of Short Films in conjunction with the American Film Institute.

After retiring about 1976, "he moved to his beloved Maine," said his daughter.

In Maine, Mr. Nuse exhibited at the University of Maine in Orono, and at the Frick Gallery and the Art Fellows Gallery in Belfast, Maine. Last fall, he exhibited at the Farnsworth Gallery in Rockland, Maine, and the Maine Coast

Artists Gallery in Rockport, Maine.

He was an active member of the Philadelphia Watercolor Club and the

Artists' Equity, where he also served as president.

He was a former member of the Art Alliance.

He was married to Eleanor Smith Nuse, who died in 1974.

Besides his daughter, Mr. Nuse is survived by his wife of more than 10 years, Mary Rose Eagelson Nuse; a son, Ronald; two brothers; three sisters; and four grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. April 22 at the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting, 100 E. Mermaid Lane, Chestnut Hill.

Memorial contributions in his name may be made to the American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia 19102 or to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118 N. Broad St., Philadelphia 19102.

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