(1873 - 1961)
Louis L. Betts was active/lived in New York, Illinois, Arkansas. Louis Betts is known for portrait, still life, and genre-views painting.
Biography from the Archives of askART
Louis Betts was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. His art
primarily from his father who was also a painter. At sixteen, he
his first portrait of his violin master in exchange for lessons, and
focused primarily on landscape painting until he was twenty-four.
then studied portrait painting at the Pennsylvania Academy for a year,
and the first Cresson Scholarship permitted him to study for two years
abroad. Betts then remained in France, England, Holland, Spain,
Italy for seven years painting portraits in court circles.
Biography from the Archives of askART
late John Lane, English publisher, once visited the Art Institute, and
wrote, "The most live portrait in the exhibition is far and away La
Verne W. Noyes, by Louis Betts. The skillful handling of hands is a
characteristic of this strong artist. He probably belongs, though he
may not know it, to the great traditional family of portrait painters,
one of whom painted the time of Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth, and
whose works may be seen in the National Gallery of London."
called on the artist and gave him a copy of the Betts genealogy. Betts
painted a portrait of an historic member of the family, Elizabeth Betts
of Wortham, whom he painted in a dress made by his wife after a
description in old family letters. This painting won the first Altman
Prize of the National Academy in 1923, and was then shown in the Toledo
Betts painted such subjects as Emerson Hough, Hamlin
Garland, Cardinal Mundelein, William O. Goodman, Drs. William and
Charles Mayo, Dr. Goodspeed of the University of Chicago, the Rev.
Jenkin Lloyd Jones, as well as graceful groups of children. He insisted
on simple and beautiful costumes; and in some instances created outdoor
backgrounds, works of art in themselves, revealing his ability in
landscape, which was a part of his general artistic excellence.
Betts helped found the artist colony in Park Ridge, Illinois, is
represented in the Art Institute of Chicago and elsewhere, and was a
member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
Cuthbert Lee, Contemporary American Portrait Painters," Illustrating and Describing
the Work of Fifty Living Painters
Biography from Blake Benton Fine Art, Artists A - B
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas on October 5, 1873, Louis Betts studied
under his father Edwin Betts and at the Pennsylvania under William
Merritt Chase. With his family, he lived in Oakland in 1888.
In 1906-07 he toured the Southwest under the auspices of the Santa Fe
Railway and visited San Diego where he painted in Coronado Beach.
He died in New York City on August 14, 1961.
National Academy of Design
National Academy of Design, 1902, 1918, 1931-37 (medals)
Louisiana Purchase Expo (St Louis), 1904 (medal)
Carnegie Inst., 1910 (prize)
Art Institute of Chicago, 1920.
Orange Co. (CA) Museum
Art Institute of Chicago
Corcoran Gallery of Art
Montclair (NJ) Museum
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"American Art Annual
1898-1933; Who's Who in American Art
1936-62; Artists of the American West
(Doris Dawdy); NY Times, 8-14-1961 (obituary).Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here
Louis Betts was a painter, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on October
5th, 1873. His father was a landscape painter and his mother was also
an artist. At an early age his father E. D. Betts, Sr., encouraged him
in his love of pictorial art and was his first instructor. When he was
fourteen years old he painted his first portrait, for which he received
instruction on the violin, his favorite instrument. Painting and music
became his "vocation and avocation" for the rest of his life.
Biography from The Redfern Gallery
later became a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art under
William Merritt Chase who encouraged him to become an Impressionist. He
won a traveling scholarship, which gave him his first trip to Europe.
Louis Betts became known as a successful portrait painter of the time
in Chicago, New York, London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Madrid.
was said of one of his portraits: "of Scott Libby, Jr., a handsome lad,
is regarded as a perfect representation of American childhood and also
as one of his finest achievements. Another critic wrote: "His grasp of
character and essentials is revealed in a broad and dashing manner He
is a painter's painter in the truest meaning whose work will never
appeal to connoisseurs." At the time many of his portraits went on to
attain national prominence including: "Michael Cudahy," "Ella Flagg
Young," and D. Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed of the Chicago University. He
was also known for genre, portraits, landscapes, still lifes, flowers
Gardens, nudes, and Indians.
Betts was elected an associate
member of the National Academy of Design in 1912, he became a full
Academician in 1915. He was also a member of the Academy of National
Arts, 1912. He is represented in various museums and institutions in
the United States.He spent time at the Impressionists' art colony at
Old Lyme, Connecticut. He passed away in 1961.
Blake Benton Fine Art
Louis Betts was a sought- after portrait artist in the U.S. and abroad, who distinguished himself in capturing the physical and spiritual character of his subjects. He studied the paintings of Franz Hals in Holland and Velasquez in Spain. Betts helped found the artists colony in Park Ridge, Illinois. He was also a violinist and avid fisherman.
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Addresses : Chicago, IL, through 1915; NYC, 1915-61.
Studied : Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; & with William Chase.
Member : Art Institute of Chicago;Fellow Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; National Institute Arts and Letters; SC; Union League Cl.,Chicago; National Academy;Salmagundi Club;National Arts Club;Century Association.
Exhibited : Art Institute of Chicago,1895-1939 (med.,1920); National Academy of Design,1902 (prize), 1931 (gold),1932 (prize), 1933 (prize),1937 (prize);St. louis Expo.,1904; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 19051907,1916-26;Corcoran Gallery, 1908-23, 1939;Carnegie Institute,1910 (prize); Allied Artists of America,1931 (gold).Works : Art Institute of Chicago; Corcoran Gallery of Art; Richmond Art Association; Montclair Art Museum; Arkansas Art Museum;Toledo Museum of Arts; Chicago University; Mayo Fnd., Rochester, Minn.; Union League CL., Chicago.
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