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Louis Orr was born in Hartford Connecticut, where he got his start as an artist and printmaker. In his late twenties, he studied in Paris, where he met his French wife of nearly five decades. Orr settled with his wife in Paris and kept his main studio there, but throughout his life, he frequently traveled back to the United States, using Hartford as his home base. Orr was highly celebrated in the USA, holding exhibitions in major cities and receiving important commissions from colleges, universities, businesses, and local and state governments.

From 1906 to around 1930, Louis Orr spent his time in France producing magnificent etchings that captured scenes in Paris, Rouen, Avignon, and Southern France. Orr also made significant contributions to France's history with his well-known portrayals of Louis Pasteur and the Reims Cathedral.  

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