Born in Nashville, Arkansas, June 19, 1936, Joseph Dawley is represented in many fine collections across the US and Canada, as well as in museums throughout the country. Dawley spent most of his childhood in Dallas, Texas, where he earned his BFA degree from SMU. In 1961, Dawley and his wife, Gloria, relocated to NJ.
Dawley painted masterfully in his realistic style and won many awards in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, including the Collins Portrait Award, the Salmagundi Award, and the Jane Peterson Portrait Award. His traditional style was represented in one-man shows in NJ, Washington, DC, NYC, Dallas, Palm Beach, and Canada. He was commissioned to paint the official portraits of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton which were unveiled at the Vatican during her canonization ceremonies. It was during this time Dawley noticed a tremor in his hand – Parkinson’s Disease.
By 1982 the tremors had progressed to the point that he could hardly work. He underwent brain surgery in hopes of being able to continue painting. And it worked, with one hitch – he couldn’t paint in that traditional, Renaissance style so he started to paint impressionistically. The impressionism was hugely accepted and hangs in many prestigious collections throughout the world, even in the White House.
By 2002 the disease had taken its toll on his mind and his body, and he entered Praxis, a nursing home facility in PA. A studio was set up for him, and he continues to paint in an abstract manner that still reflects his skillful usage of color.