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 Harold J. (Hal) English  (1910 - 2008)

About: Harold J. (Hal) English
 

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: portrait, landscape and figure paintings, drawings

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Hal English is primarily known as Harold J. (Hal) English

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Ad Code: 4
Hal  English
Untitled-'Football Player', oil on canvas, 24" x 18",
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc.:
Harold J. “Hal” English (American, 1910-2008) artist, painter, free-lance advertising designer, teacher, lecturer, and art director is primarily known for his portraits, landscapes, nudes, figurative works, illustrations, and realistic pen & ink drawings.  He worked in oils, watercolors, charcoal, pastels, and pen & ink.

Hal was born in Buffalo, NY, and grew up in the Lovejoy area of the city. He graduated from the Buffalo Technical High School, and studied art and drawing at the Albright Art School under Florence Julia Bach (American, 1887-1978), also in Buffalo.

During the Depression, Hal earned money by doing hand-painted signs for various storefront windows, auto dealers and rooftop billboards. He also worked on an ice wagon, delivering 50-pound blocks of ice to homes without the convenience of electric refrigerators. Circa 1934, as a freelance agent he began working for the Buffalo office of the worldwide advertising agency Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn. For 30 years at BBD&O he served as an advertising & commercial artist, advertising consultant, lettering specialist and also served as art director for various departments.

During World War II, Hal created detailed mechanical drawings of blown-up sections of intricate aircraft assemblies for the Curtiss-Wright Corporation which were used in their repair manuals around the world. Active in the Park School of Buffalo, Snyder, NY, he was chairman of the Fathers Committee and a member of the Board of Trustees, and also produced the school’s first recruiting catalog in the 1950’s. After retiring from BBD&O in 1964, English devoted himself to the fine arts, beginning with commissioned portraits.

Hal taught art and mechanical drawing at Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY, and also at the SUNY Urban Center in Buffalo. Circa the mid 1970’s, he was the artist in residence at Hilbert College, Hamburg, NY teaching summer and fall art classes in drawing, painting, portrait & figures. He also taught art classes at the Centennial Art Center, Hamburg, NY circa the mid-late 1980’s and privately for many years out of his studio. He continued working until he was in his early 90’s, and earned the title of “Master Pastelist” after winning Best-in-Show for three years at the Pastel Society of America’s National Exhibition in New York City, of which he was a member. He was also a member of the Western New York Artists Group, the Hamburg Art Society and the Cheektowaga Creative Arts Guild (President). Hal exhibited with the WNYAG and Hamburg Art Society, as well as in numerous art shows, festivals and venues in and around the Buffalo area and New Mexico, winning several awards for his works. In 1982, Hal won the prestigious Grumbacher Award at the “National Small Painting Exhibition” held by the New Mexico Art League, and the Albuquerque Tribune reported that his pastel portrait of a Taos Indian chief stole the show that year.

In reviewing a 1995 retrospective show, the Buffalo News Art Critic Richard Huntington cited Hal for his, “workmanlike style--a blend of `40’s and `50’s illustration and an Edward Hopper-ish kind of solid realism.”[1]

In 1938, Hal married Helen K. (née Schnoor, 1912-2002) English, a teacher in the West Seneca Central School District who concentrated on fifth grade social studies. They had two children; son, Dale C. English, former assistant metro editor at the Courier-Express and a contributing writer for Business First and member of the New York State Legislative Correspondents Association, as well as the American Newspaper Guild; and daughter, Cheryl E. (Martin), a professor of history at the University of Texas at El Paso, TX.

A longtime parishioner of St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in South Buffalo, Hal became associated with the St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Church in Orchard Park, NY. After the famed ‘Blizzard of 1977’, he and his wife moved from their 272 Eden Street residence in South Buffalo, NY in 1978, to 136 Heather Hill Drive in West Seneca. In 2001, they moved to Orchard Park, NY where Hal remained until his death in 2008. His wife Helen, passed away shortly after their move in 2002 at the age of 89.

Chronology:

1910- Born, November 21, Buffalo, NY, and grew up in the Lovejoy area.

circa 1934-1964- Worked for the Buffalo office of the worldwide advertising agency Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, and later retired in 1964.

1938- Married Helen K. (née Schnoor) English, who was a teacher in the West Seneca Central School District who concentrated on fifth grade social studies and spent most of her career at Allendale Elementary School, and they had two children; son, Dale C. English; and daughter, Cheryl E. Martin.

During the WWII years- He did mechanical drawings of blown-up sections of intricate aircraft assemblies for the Curtiss-Wright Corporation which were used in their repair manual publications around the world.

During the 1950’s- Produced the Park School of Buffalo’s first recruiting catalog, where he was also chairman of the Fathers Committee and a member of the Board of Trustees, Snyder, NY.

1964- Retired from Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, and devoted himself to fine art.

1966- September to November, taught sketching and painting classes at the South Side Branch YWCA in South Buffalo, NY.  December, Harold’s son Dale C. English married Irene H. (née Grabowski), at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church. The reception was at St. John’s Hall, Newark Valley, NY, and they went to Miami, FL for their honeymoon.

1971- Exhibited, group show (1st Prize), “Allentown Art Festival”, for pastel drawing, Buffalo, NY.

Circa the mid 1970’s- Was the artist in residence at Hilbert College, Hamburg, NY, and taught summer and fall art classes.

1970- June, exhibited, group show (1st Prize), “Art Show of the Hamburg Art Society”, prize for a watercolor portrait, South Shore Plaza, Hamburg, NY.

1971- Exhibited, group show (3rd Prize), “Lewiston Outdoor Art Festival”, for drawing, Lewiston, NY.

1972- June, exhibited group show (2nd Prize in Realism), “Boston Art Show”, Boston, NY. September, exhibited, group show (Honorable Mention), “Hamburg Art Festival”, Hamburg Art Society, oil painting, Carlo Nisita (judge), Hamburg, NY.

1975- September, exhibited, group show, “Fourth Annual Hamburg Art Festival”, Sponsored by the Hamburg Jaycees and the Hamburg Art Society, with preview of paintings shown by various artists including Hal English, August 22 at Hilbert College in their administration building, Hamburg Village Park, Hamburg, NY.

1978- He and his wife moved from their 272 Eden Street residence in South Buffalo, NY to 136 Heather Hill Drive in West Seneca, NY.

1982- Exhibited, group show (prize), “National Small Painting Exhibition”, won the prestigious Grumbacher Award, by the New Mexico Art League, and the Albuquerque Tribune reported that his pastel portrait of a Taos Indian chief stole the show that year.  

Circa the mid-late 1980’s- Taught art classes at the Centennial Art Center, Hamburg, NY.

1987- Spring, exhibited in a group faculty show and taught pastel class at the “Instructor’s Show”, Centennial Art Center, upstairs gallery, Hamburg, NY.

1992- August-September, exhibited, two-person show, “A Flower by Any Other Name”, Hal English & Pat Fortunato, an exhibit of female nudes in oil and pastel, Western New York Artists Group, Art Dialogue Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1995- November, exhibited, solo show, “A Life of Art: A Retrospective Exhibit”, Western New York Artists Group, Art Dialogue Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

2001- He and his wife moved to Orchard Park, NY.

2002- January 13, Harold’s wife of 64 years, Helen K. (née Schnoor) English, who was a teacher in the West Seneca Central School District died at the age of 89, Orchard Park, NY.

2008- Died, Saturday, April 12, at the age of 97 after a brief illness, Father Baker Manor, Orchard Park, NY. The funeral service was held at Sieck & Mast Funeral Home, with the Mass of Christian burial at the St, John Vianney Church in Orchard Park.

Memberships: Pastel Society of America (earned the title “Master Pastelist” after winning three years at their annual exhibitions), NYC; Hamburg Art Society, Hamburg, NY; Western New York Artists Group, Buffalo, NY; Cheektowaga Creative Arts Guild (President), Cheektowaga, NY; Board of Trustees, Park School of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.

Exhibited Also: Pastel Society of America’s National Exhibition (Best-in-Show prizes for three years, unknown dates), NYC.

Awards/Honors: 1st Prize (1970), “Art Show of the Hamburg Art Society”, for a watercolor portrait, South Shore Plaza, Hamburg, NY; 1st Prize (1971), for pastel drawing, Allentown Art Festival, Buffalo, NY; 3rd Prize (1971), “Lewiston Outdoor Art Festival”, for drawing, Lewiston, NY; 2nd Prize in Realism (1972), “Boston Art Show”, Boston, NY; Honorable Mention (1972), “Hamburg Art Festival”, Hamburg Art Society, oil painting, Carlo Nisita (judge), Hamburg, NY; Best-in-Show (three years, unknown dates), Pastel Society of America’s National Exhibition (and earned the title “Master Pastelist” after winning three years at their annual exhibitions), NYC; Grumbacher Award (1982), “National Small Painting Exhibition”, New Mexico Art League, Albuquerque, NM.  

Publications: Created detailed mechanical drawings of blown-up sections of intricate aircraft assemblies for the Curtiss-Wright Corporation which were used in their repair manuals around the world (circa WWII years); Produced the Park School of Buffalo’s first recruiting catalog, Snyder, NY (circa the 1950’s); Your Buffalo Area Coloring Book, Published by Henry C.F. Stewart, Inc. (caption writer), with the Boost Buffalo Committee, illustrated by Hal English, Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, (May 24, 1963).

(Rewritten in parts & compiled chronologically by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, meibohmfinearts.com, 10/2011, Sources: Too long to list here and are furnished upon request.)


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