Born in Rockville Center, New York in
1920, Paul Longenecker began drawing as a young child. When he was 12,
he received his first lesson in oil painting from his grandmother, who
was a landscape and china painter. After high school, Mr. Longenecker
enrolled in the National Academy in New York City and sketched between
classes, finding over time that he had a talent for portraiture.
Mr. Longenecker spent four years in the U.S. Army as an officer in the medical corps stationed in England. When he returned from duty, he enrolled in New York City's Arts Student League. He lived for a period in Hawaii, where he made his living painting portraits. Following many years of teaching art in New York City, he had a one-man show on Nantucket and fell in love with the island.
In November 1971, Mr. Longenecker bought a home on Union Street, Nantucket where he set up a studio. He was an early member of the Artist's Association of Nantucket, showing his work at its local galleries. He spent winters in Palm Beach, until the early 1980s, when he decided to stay on the island year-round.
From the mid-1980s to the mid- 1990s, Mr. Longenecker offered painting classes at the Barker Gallery. His work was exhibited at several prominent galleries in Nantucket. Many of his later paintings were colorful New England scenes. He was also known for his realistic still life and animal paintings.
In 2006, Mr. Longenecker suffered a stroke and stopped painting. He died on June 3, 2008 at the age of 87.