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 John Reed Campbell  (1925 - 1997)

About: John Reed Campbell


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Lived/Active: Louisiana      Known for: southern landscapes

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Penny Wiest Augustine

John"s friend Bernard
John and my dad, Bernard Wiest, were longtime friends as well as fellow artists. They did teach some classes together, but what I remember most is that they spent a lot of time in Mom's kitchen--drinking tons of coffee and arguing opposite sides on any issue...and then switching sides. They were both fans of each other's paintings.


I knew John
I am 65, I first met john when I was 15. He lived down the street form me on Robert E. Lee Blvd just off of Elisian Fields. I remember helping him sell paintings in Jackson Square and would sit and watch him for hours as he painted. At one time he wanted to do a cartoon similar to Prince Valiant. I do remember that I gave him a photo of me in my sailor uniform he said he wanted to make an oil of it. I married and moved away and never saw the photo again, but I did see John again. John was a great guy and a good friend.

John D. Collins

J.R. Campell Oil
I have a oil painting signed J.R.Campbell. The painting is a landscape with a large oak off to one side of the center with another tall slender tree juxtaposing it to the left. There is a great shadow under the large oak which adds depth to the meadow on which the tree sets. The painting is 8"x10" and signed on the right side at the bottom in small block. J. R Campbell. On the rear of the painting there is an inscription in pencil which reads (Painted by J.R Campbell when he was 20 years old. Painted in 1945.) The paint needs to be cleaned but otherwise is in great condition. It came to me with a gold gesso antique frame that appears to be original. I purchased the painting at and thrift store on Jefferson Hwy. approximately ten years ago. The lady at the time said that he was a local artist from New Orleans. Apparently she knew what she was talking about because the information that you provided cohensides with my dates. This has only confirmed to me that it is an original. I cherish this great little gem. Thanks

Sally Meyers

John R. Campbell
I have heard that John R. Campbell also signed some of his art with E. T. Campbell. Can anyone verify this. Thanks

Carole Weller

John Reed Campbell
Is John Reed Campbell the son of E.R.Campbell who painted in the 1940's?

Ray Smith

Original Oil Painting
My dad from New Orleans knew of John Campbell because as a barber he communicated with everyone. Living in New Orleans my dad would visit the Quarters cutting hair for his customers. One of his customers was John Campbell. One of my great gifts from my dad was an original oil landscape painting from John. I love it since it was from my dad as a house warming gift.

Lowry Lomax

John R. Campbell
I have two Campbell oil paintings. The first was of a Stage Coach in the Rockies. I am not sure he did much of the West. If anyone knows of others, I would be interested. The second was a commissioned piece he called Bayou Life, typical of cottage and cypress trees on the bayou.
He was quite the gifted artist.

Robert Peck

J R Campbell did leave family. My dad was his first cousin and received numerous prints and other items from his estate. My dad pasted in 1999 and those items are now owned by his family.

Nancy Arsenault

The Marble Players
I own a lithograph by John R Campbell. The title is "The Marble Players". I am wondering if anybody would know the value of this lithograph? I would appreciate any information. Thankyou, Nancy

John's friend

John' s death date
The date listed for John's death in these posts are incorrect. John died on Friday, May 13th, 1997 at around 3 a.m. He was 72 years old. It was odd that he died on that day, as he had an intense, lifelong fear of Friday the 13th.

John's friend

J.R. and watercolor
I was interested in Hal Bennett's comment that he never knew John to use watercolor. Well, I happen to have a watercolor by John of a cat peering into a goldfish bowl. Quite nice!


John Reed Campbell
How can I tell if my lithograph is really signed by the artist? I am not an art collector, I just liked this picture and the gallery I bought it from said it was signed. It is titled "The Marble Player".


John Reed Campbell
I have a large oil - roughly 16x40 - scene: maybe the french quarter? old downtown new orleans for sre - signed lower lefthand corner j.r. campbell 1966 in gorgeous shades of gray can anyone give me more info? thanks.

Nora Robertson

John R. Campbell
Let me know when you publish your book @ John Campbell. I have one of his typical Southern landscapes, dated Oct 1964, and am interested in the artist.

Mike Gonzales

John R. Campbell book
I am considering doing a book on Mr. Campbell. If anyone has any stories, information, facts, photos or slides of his work, etc., I wold like to hear from you.

Bit of interesting trivia. Mr. Campbell did President Eisenhower's White Hose portrait.

Frank Hendrick

J Campbell paintings
I have oil two paintings that belonged to my dad signed by a J Campbell. The are haunting in their use of grays. The scenes are of streams by moonlight. I believe this might be John Reed Campbell. Both are signed in the lower left corner. How might I authenticate?

Mike Alden

John Reed Campbell
I was an artist's agent in my younger days and represented both John Reed Campbell and Robert Rucker as well as Dell Weller. I also met Dalhart Windberg who inspired John to paint Texas Scenes with bluebonnets. Since John always had money problems and consequently could not pay me for services rendered, he gave me a blue bonnet scene (24x36) which hangs in a central place in my living room.
I agree that John was a lonely person. At the time I lived less than a mile from his home and frequently he would show up at dinner time, with a few tomatoes for the salad, which of course resulted in an invitation to stay and have dinner with us.

Hal Bennett

Artist John Reed Campbell
I briefly took lessons from John Campbell at his Lake Avenue building in Metairie (west New Orleans). John Campbell was probably the premier artist in New Orleans during the last half of the twentieth century. There are those who would choose either Robert Rucker or Jim Kendrick for that honor, and Joe Wilhelm was another good artist, but in my opinion, John was the best. I wonder if there was another Southern landscape artist during that time who was his equal. I consider Dahlhart Windberg to be John's equal, but Windberg is a Texas artist. Their styles are similar, and both of them have captured the peculiar greens and atmosphere of the Southern landscape. John was a very lonely figure. When he died in about 2000, at about age seventy-five, he was alone in his little duplex apartment in New Orleans East, apparently without any family. He owned the whole duplex and rented out the other (front) half of it. He also owned a building over on Lake Avenue in Metairie, where he taught art classes along with his friend and fellow artist, Bernie Wiest. I think that Bernie is now dead also. Bernie taught cartooning, while John taught oil painting to a collection of about ten well-off New Orleans women. Bernie was the guy who conceived two famous advertising cartoon figures in New Orleans, the little girl in "Eighteen-Twenty-Five Tulane," and the little bird in "Little-Cheaper-Dealer." Bernie had had a career in commercial art up north, in Wisconsin, I believe. Mrs. June Lampe, who with her husband Fritz ran "Lampe Gallery" for years across from the Baptist seminary on Chef Menteur Highway in east New Orleans, was a big supporter of John's. She taught art classes under the guise, or pretense, that she was teaching her students how to paint the Southern landscape like John Campbell did it. But she was largely incorrect in her efforts to do this, and I speak from experience, having taken lessons from both of them. Mrs. Lampe tried to say that John's method was the same as her "Old Master's" technique, but it was not. John admired the painting of Robert Wood, and Mrs. Lampe did not even know who Robert Wood was. Mrs. Lampe's technique was based upon a lot of glazing, something that neither Campbell nor apparently Wood majored upon. John would "spot-glaze," but he would not glaze a whole picture with Sap Green or Alizarin Crimson like Mrs. Lampe did. Unlike Mrs. Lampe, who used umbers and siennas primarily, John used a lot of bright colors, such as Cobalt Blue, which he would mix together to get his browns and other darks. He once said that his favorite color was yellow. He particularly liked the Da Vinci (DVD) Raw Sienna. With these yellows he liked to mix Holbein's Mineral Violet (the compliment of yellow). I'm fairly sure he liked to use Sap Green also. He was able to produce the subtle greens of the Southern landscape with this array of colors. He did say once regarding these greens, "Blue won't get it." I find this curious, because apparently Robert Wood liked to use Cobalt Blue for his greens. But Wood did not major on the SOUTHERN landscape. John had studied art in New York City and, I think, in France. He used oil paints and I never knew him to use water colors. He had worked at one time for Naegle Outdoor Advertising in New Orleans. He did portraits fairly well. Curiously enough, he did not draw or paint the human figure very well. He included life classes there in his building on Lake Avenue, and he enthusiastically worked on this aspect of his art, but he could not, for some reason, capture the adult figure, male or female. His figures all tended to look like a twelve year-old boy. I told him that this woman, a fellow student of mine in one of John's life classes, said that my sketches always looked like a Playboy model. John said, "I wish MINE did." You will find a lot of human figures in John's paintings, but I think that he was at his best as a pure landscape painter. He once said, "I could paint a tree when I was fifteen." The painting he painted over and over, in different contexts, was the little country shack juxtaposed against a huge billowing Southern Live Oak tree. Usually, this tree was dripping with moss, and this was his typical expression of Louisiana. Hal Bennett September 10, 2003

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