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 Stanley Massey Arthurs  (1877 - 1950)

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Lived/Active: Delaware      Known for: illustrations-historical, mural

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Ad Code: 3
Stanley Massey Arthurs
from Auction House Records.
Siege of Fort Boonesboro
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

Arthurs (1877-1950), from Kenton, Delaware, studied at the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia, then he became one of the selected students of Howard Pyle, the great illustrator.  At the Howard Pyle School in Wilmington, Delaware Arthurs met N.C. Wyeth, the western illustrator Frank E. Schoonover and others.  Pyle limited the enrollment to applicants who showed "imagination and enthusiasm, artistic ability and drawing technique."  (Douglas Allen and Douglas Allen, Jr., N. C. Wyeth: The Collected Paintings, Illustrations and Murals. New York: Bonanza Books, 1972, p. 21). Arthurs was a success; he joined the Wilmington Society of Fine Arts and the prestigious Salmagundi Club in New York, and in 1900 Harper's accepted his first illustration.  Later Arthurs became a contributor to Scribner's

His specialty was American historical subjects: Samuels and Samuels (The Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Co., 1976, p. 11), describe how Arthurs researched these subjects "in depth so that each detail of an illustration would be accurate."  In 1917, Arthurs exhibited an illustration, The Romance of 1812, and Road over the Mountains at the Society of Independent Artists.  Some of Arthurs' illustrated books include The Children's Longfellow, The American Historical Scene and Bigelow Papers.  Arthurs was both the author and illustrator of Early Steamboat Days and On the Old Boston Post Road.  The American Historical Scene (1936) contains fifty of Arthurs' illustrations.

In some works Arthurs depicts bustling, urban life, recalling works by members of the Eight, or the Ash Can School — especially William Glackens and George Luks.  In particular, one might compare the broad, painterly forms, a profusion of black, a limited color range, and everyday, unidealized types of figures, which all relate to the Ash Can School.  Arthurs took over Pyle's studio after the later died in 1911.

Written and submitted by Michael Preston Worley, Ph.D.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Considered the artist laureate of Delaware, he was a painter of numerous historical works that became a "pictorial synthesis of America" (Harmsen Western Art).

He was a student and good friend of famed illustrator, Howard Pyle, and did many commercial art assignments. Harper's Weekly did the first published work of Arthurs in December, 1899. After Pyle's death in 1912, Arthurs purchased his studio at Wilmington, Delaware and became very much a part of the heydey-era of illustration art.

Sadly, many of his notes and sketches were destroyed, and after his death, much of his work sold at very low prices. Hundreds of his prints are at the Brandywine River Museum at Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and his murals are at the State Capitol in Dover, Delaware.

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Stanley Arthurs is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

Explore Other Interesting Artists:
NC Wyeth
Frank Schoonover
Howard Pyle
Harvey Dunn

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