Gerrit V. Sinclair studied art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1910 to 1915. His most well known teachers at the Art Institute were John Vanderpoel and John Norton. In 1917, the artist enlisted in the Army Ambulance Corps and served in northern Italy and Austria. Scenes from his experience abroad are recorded in his works of the early 1920s.
Following the war, Sinclair settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he became a member of the faculty of the Layton School of Art upon the school’s founding in 1920. He continued to teach at the Layton School and at the Oxbow Summer School of Art in Saugatuck, Michigan until his retirement in 1954.
Sinclair is recognized both as an important artist and teacher from the Great Lakes region.
During his lifetime Sinclair’s paintings were exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in Paris, the Salon Printemps in Paris, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the National Academy of Design, the Whitney Museum in New York, the New York Watercolor Club, the Brooklyn Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, the Art Institute of Chicago and in many other museums and galleries. He received numerous prizes and commissions for his work including a W.P.A. mural commission for the Federal Building in Wassau, Wisconsin. Sinclair was a member of Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors, Wisconsin Federation of the Arts and the Wisconsin Painting Museum.
His style is a blend of realism and Impressionism but is clearly modern in its abstract concern for composition and color. Sinclair is best known for his regionalist paintings of rural and urban Wisconsin. His farm scene entitled ”Spring in Wisconsin” was exhibited at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York.