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 David B. Armstrong  (1947 - 1998)

About: David B. Armstrong


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Lived/Active: Connecticut      Known for: landscape, figure, still life

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BIOGRAPHY for David Armstrong


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landscape, figure, still life

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Biography from Butler Institute of American Art:
Fields and sheep pastures rolled the woodlands back into the rock hills, opening the Housatonic River Valley just wide enough for David Armstrong's adventures as a boy. On his family's farm in Connecticut, he developed a reverence for the earth and a desire to capture it in his paintings.  From the bitter cold of winter to the heat of summer, David painted outdoors in fields, farms, and woods always working in the landscape to be part of the world he was painting.

Paintings by David Armstrong exemplify such themes as the raw beauty of nature, the farmland of rural America, and the simplicity of country living.

Exhibitions of work by Armstrong include a two-artist exhibition in 1980 featuring David and John Denver, to benefit the Windstar Foundation -- an organization promoting environmental harmony and world peace; and a major exhibition (children's cancer research benefit) in 1987, "Realism: A Continuing American Tradition," with artists Eric Sloane, Bob Timberlake, and Andrew Wyeth.

In 1990, the American Farmland Trust Organization, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving our valuable agricultural resources, hosted a benefit exhibition of Armstrong's recent works.

In 1976, David assisted his friend and mentor, Eric Sloane, with the panorama mural project (75 feet, 3 story) at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institute, in Washington, D.C.  At the early age of 32, Armstrong was honored with a 120-piece exhibition in Pennsylvania's state museum in Harrisburg.

Armstrong's works are in major corporate and private collections, including a piece in the private library of former President Bush (a gift to the President from the late Dr. Armand Hammer).  David Armstrong lent his support to the conservation group, Frenchman Bay Conservancy (Ellsworth, ME), by providing a one-man exhibition benefit in Maine in August 1994.

In 1992, a collection of the artist's paintings representing "Vanishing American Craftsman" was exhibited at the Butler Institute of American Art.  Following the exhibition, the entire collection of 16 works was donated to Bucknell University by a private art collector.  The collection is on permanent display at the Weis Center for Performing Arts, Lewisburg, Pennyslvania.  A major 30-year retrospective exhibition opened for two months in June 1995 at the Butler Institute of American Art (Youngstown, Ohio).  The documentary produced by the Public Broadcasting Center titled, "Our Vanishing American Landscape, The World and Work of David Armstrong" aired on Earth Day, 1993, and is now being shown on selected stations nationally.

Of his painting, the artist says: "My work attempts to present my vision of beauty through ordinary elements of the commonplace.  I believe great works of art are not achieved through complicated statements, but rather simple ones, which allow painter and viewer alike to see beneath the surface, to question, and in our individual ways, to attempt an answer to the question of how we integrate our human needs with the natural world. In my pictures I attempt to feel -- a sense of time and place -- a moment of light, movement, and mood reflective of the world around me. In essence, my paintings reflect specific times and emotions of my life."

David Armstrong died in August 1998, after a lengthy battle with cancer.

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