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John Edward Heliker
Date: American painter, 1909–2000
Biography: Born in Yonkers, Heliker dropped out of high school to copy paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, before entering the Art Students League where he studied with Kimon Nicolaides, Thomas Hart Benton, and Boardman Robinson. In his early career he experimented with Cubism and then a Regionalist approach, drawing scenes of everyday life in New England. His mature pictures of interiors and the Maine coast feature painterly handling and large areas of intense color, and some of his landscapes and border on abstraction. He won a Prix de Rome in 1948 and spent five summers in Italy, which deeply influenced his approach to painting. Heliker taught at Columbia University from 1947 until his retirement.