Saturday, January 19, 2013

George David Yater (1910-1993)

George David Yater was born on November 30, 1910, in the old Ohio River town of Madison, Indiana. Son of a truck driver, Yater studied at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis and received his diploma in fine arts in 1932. Yater also studied at the Cape School of Art. I don't know much about his career except to say that he was a fine artist, illustrator, and teacher. Yater was also a member of several art organizations, including the American Water Color Society, Indianapolis Art AssociationPhiladelphia Water Color Club, and Provincetown Art Association. Despite his origins in the Midwest, Yater is known as a Massachusetts artist. He lived in Truro and was a member of the artist's colony at Provincetown. Both towns are located at the northern tip of Cape Cod. Not surprisingly, Yater specialized in landscapes and genre-type paintings set in seaside villages. George Yater died in Massachusetts on April 15, 1993, at age eighty-two.

Here are three watercolors by George Yater, all from an article called "The Lady and the Flounder" by Beth Melcher from Ford Times, April 1953. The top picture is of High Bank Bridge over the Upper Bass River. The middle picture is of the Oyster Harbor Bridge in Osterville, Massachusetts. The bottom picture is of the Herring River Bridge. All are of locations in Cape Cod.
Another really fine watercolor by Yater, entitled "Morning Shape Up," from about 1960.
Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley


  1. I have a watercolor that would appear to be signed by George Yater. It has a card on back that says "Early March, Provincetown" but I cannot find out anything about it. Have you heard of this watercolor?
    Thanks, Zoie

    1. Zoie, George is my grandfather. I'd love to see the piece you have and I could probably get you more information on it.

    2. Dylan - Did you know that Ernie Pyle wrote a column on your grandfather in 1938? That was when he hardly ever sold a painting. He exhibited 20 paintings in New York - that represented more than 200 he threw away. A quote: "When I learn to paint well enough my pictures will sell." Good advice to many young people.

  2. Dear Zoie,

    I'm afraid I know nothing about your watercolor. You might try contacting an art association in Provincetown or in Massachusetts. Good luck.