Onni Saari


Onni Saari was born in 1920 in New Hampshire of Finnish descent. He attended the Institute of Arts and Sciences in Manchester, and graduated from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where he received the Bartol Scholarship, the George Hollingsworth Scholarship and the Mary Riply Scholarship.
He received a BS from the Maine Maritime Academy, Lt. USNR.

After his graduation, Onni Saari spent time in Europe traveling and studying at the Academie Julian in
Paris. After two years he came to New York where he lived until the 1970's.
For several years in New York, Saari handled retouching for publication groups requiring fast, expert retouching of figure and pictorial features. He became familiar with visualization and layout for ads,
catalogues, brochures and publications. He accumulated a knowledge of advertising production, type,
printing processes and commercial art techniques.

Saari moved to Hudson, NY in 1972 and lived there until he died in 1992.

Onni Saari's contribution to American art is among the most remarkable and yet least known of any American artistof this century. Saari studied and worked in Boston, New York and Paris. He knew and was known by a remarkable number of the major artists of our times, both here and abroad, and participated in the creative ferment which has marked the progress of American art since the forties.

His work spans over fifty years of constant production, and it is the product of a seminal and original mind. A very private, retiring, even shy man, Saari exhibited rarely, and could hardly ever be convinced to sell his works, preferring to paint rather than to seek fortune or fame. His work, however, has long been quietly appreciated by a few discerning critics and a few works have found their way into the collections of a small group of knowledgeable collectors. A case can be made that his work, though until now known only to a few, is in fact of substantial historic and aesthetic importance. As a collection his lifetime work is a representative history of the progress of American art over the last half century.

A schedule of his exhibits follows:
1945 Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester - exhibit of war time watercolors
1940's New Hampshire Art Association
1950 Artists Gallery, New York - Group Exhibit
1950's Hacker Gallery, New York
1957 Bodley Gallery, Washington D.C. - One Man Show
1962 Mortimer Brandt Gallery - Young Artists of Promise
1962 Osgood Gallery - Group Exhibition
1963 Riverside Museum - Exhibition of Finnish-American Artists
1971 Franz Bader Gallery, Washington D.C. - One Man Show
1970's Three-Eighty Gallery, NYC - One Man Show

Jack Coble
Barry Faulkner
Jerome Sutter, Geneva
John LaFarge
Carl Tait
Stanley Thompson
Peggy Colony, Dublin, NH
Selma Riker
Chase National Bank in New York
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
William Inge
Sam Peck, Palm Beach
Mrs. Alfred C. Kinsey, Indiana
Alexander Jame
Robin Leibbrandt, Johannesburg