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John B. Lear
John B. Lear (1910-2008) concentrated on the beautifully proportioned male figure for most of his career. His style is influenced by mid-century artists such as Paul Cadmus and George Tooker, but many of his fantastical, surrealist settings are not dystopian, but whimsical and brightly colored. His career spanned more than 70 years, and his works are in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and several other museums. According to his obit in the Philadelphia Inquirer, he was not sent to battle in World War II, but instead his talents were used for illustrating military manuals and painting portraits of the top brass. Even though he was not sent overseas during the war, his niece Susan MacBride told the Inquirer that the surreal aspects of his art were influenced by "his horror at the destruction of life and the beauty of the world."