Bo Bartlett was born in Columbus, Georgia in 1955. He received his Certificate of Fine Arts in 1981 from Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
He has had numerous solo exhibitions nationally and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA; The University of Mississippi Museum, Oxford, MS; “Love and Other Sacraments,” “Paintings of Home,” Ilges Gallery, Columbus State University, Columbus, GA; “A Survey of Paintings,” W.C. Bradley Co. Museum, Columbus, GA; “Paintings of Home,” PPOW Gallery, New York, NY; and “Bo Bartlett,” Ogden Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA. He had a solo exhibition at Ameringer McEnery Yohe, New York, NY in 2016.
Recent group exhibitions include “American Masters,” Somerville Manning Gallery, Greenville, DE; “The Philadelphia Story,” Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC; “The Outwin Boochever 2013 Portrait Competition Exhibition,” Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; “Best of the Northwest: Selected Paintings from the Permanent Collection,” Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA; “Perception of Self,” Forum Gallery, New York, NY; “Real: Realism in Diverse Media, Imago Galleries, Palm Desert, CA; “Thriving in Seattle: A Retrospective,” GAGE Academy of Art, Seattle WA; “private (dis)play,” New York Academy of Art, New York, NY; “Figure as Narrative,” Columbus State University, Columbus, GA; “Solemn & Sublime: Contemporary American Figure Painting,” Akus Gallery, Eastern CT State University, Willimantic, CT; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA, “private(dis)play,” Center of Creative Arts, St. Louis, MO; and “Five Artists of Accomplishment from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA.
His work may be found in the permanent collections of the Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, SC; La Salle University Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Loretto, PA; Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA; McCornick Place Metropolis Pier and Exposition Authority, South Hall, Chicago, IL; United States Mint, Philadelphia, PA; Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA; Office of the Governor, Harrisburg, PA; Curtis Institute, Philadelphia, PA; Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA; Hunter Museum of American Art; Chattanooga, TN; Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA; Denver Museum of Art, Denver, CO; and Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA.
Bartlett is the recipient of the PEW Fellowship in the Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art Award; Museum Merit Award, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, GA; William Emlen Cresson Traveling Scholarship, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Charles Toppan Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; and Packard Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA.
Bo Bartlett lives and works in Columbus, GA and lives seasonally in Maine.
"Bo Bartlett is very American. He’s fresh, he’s gifted, and he’s what we need in this country. Bo is one of the very few I feel this strongly about."
– Andrew Wyeth
"Bo Bartlett is an American realist with a modernist vision. His paintings are well within the tradition of American realism as defined by artists such as Thomas Eakins and Andrew Wyeth. Like these artists, Bartlett looks at America’s heart—its land and its people—and describes the beauty he finds in everyday life. His paintings celebrate the underlying epic nature of the commonplace and the personal significance of the extraordinary.
Bartlett was educated at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where realist principles must be grasped before modernist ventures are encouraged. He pushes the boundaries of the realist tradition with his multilayered imagery. Life, death, passage, memory, and confrontation coexist easily in his world. Family and friends are the cast of characters that appear in his dreamlike narrative works. Although the scenes are set around his childhood home in Georgia, his island summer home in Maine, his home in Pennsylvania or the surroundings of his studio and residence in Washington state, they represent a deeper, mythical concept of the archetypal, universal home."
– Tom Butler, excerpt from the book Bo Bartlett, Heartland