George Gardener Symons was born in Chicago in 1861. His birth name was Simon but he changed it because he was worried about anti-Semitism. He traveled through Paris, Munich and London before settling in Brooklyn.
A plein-air painter, Symons combined elements of Realism with Impressionism. He had studios in New England and Laguna Beach, CA and divided his time between the two. He is remembered for his winter landscapes of the Berkshire Hills and Gloucester, MA as well as his work in the California plein-air school. Symons also painted annually in Cornwall, England. He was good friends with William Wendt, who he knew from his schooling at the Chicago Art Institute, and the two explored the California coast and Europe together.
Symons believed in drawing from inspiration. His large canvases were of sweeping panoramic views with large areas of bright color. Symons exhibited widely throughout NYC, California and London.