Backstrom, John W.

Backstrom, John W. (1899-1983)

John Backstrom was born in Meriden, Connecticut and educated in public schools in Meriden and Wallingford. At the age of 14, he showed a talent for art that an art teacher noticed. That same year he sold his first painting. Backstrom continued to paint and developed his skill in landscape painting. During the Second World War he served in the Army. On his return he studied art under Will H. Chandler in Washington, D.C. then, under John Conlon in New Haven. For two and a half years Backstrom attended the Hartford Art School and studied under Heindrik Mayer. In 1938, under the WPA project, he painted 13 easels. He was also skilled in painting murals and later in life painted many rooms in private houses in Meriden and Wallingford. Backstrom painted portraits of Babe Ruth and Marilyn Monroe. In the last years of his life his eyesight grew dimmer, but he continued to paint. Bckstrom died in 1983 in a nursing home in Wallingford.

Sources: WPA Artist’s Work Card; Articles from the Meriden Record Journalwith no dates provided by the Record Journal and William Phibbs, Backstrom’s nephew; Social Security Death Index.

Works of Art Listed in CT Archives’ database from John Backstrom:

Witch Meadow Road: oil
Berkshire Road: oil
My Little Boat: oil
The Wood Road: oil
A Salem Meadow: oil
The Harvesters: oil
Connecticut Hills: oil
Silverlake Farmyard: oil
9 Drawings: wolf pencil on paper
The Old Mill- Cheshire: oil
Our Duck Pond: oil
The Old Homestead: oil
The First Snow: oil
Snow on the Hills: oil
Backstrom, John W.