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 Charles H. Ramsey, Jr.  (1929 - )

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Lived/Active: Connecticut/Massachusetts      Known for: abstract, realist and surreal painting, railroad images, musician

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Ad Code: 4
Charles H. Ramsey, Jr.
An example of work by Charles H. Ramsey, Jr.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography has been written and submitted by Peter Aaronson of Woodbridge, Connecticut from an interview with Charles H. Ramsey Jr. on August 27, 2012.
Charles H. Ramsey Jr. was born in August of 1929 in Bridgeport, Connecticut to a father who was a graphic designer and a mother, Alice Harvey Ramsey (1894-1983), who was an artist. The family soon moved to Westport Connecticut where young Charles attended school. While attending Staple High School he also attended art classes at the Silvermine Arts Center in nearby New Canaan. After high school he joined the army and served during the Korean War from 1951 to 1952. During this time, while he was stationed in Killeen Texas, the USO put on a display of his artwork to entertain the troops.
Upon his honorable discharge he returned home and studied under Harry Sternberg at the Arts Students League in New York City. He then went on to study under Sperry Andrews at the Silvermine Arts Center. He was accepted to the Rhode Island School of Design in 1953 and graduated in 1957. While painting in the late 1950s he also furthered his love for composing music by studying in Cambridge Massachusetts under Mary Church. He has composed both classical and jazz works.
Returning to Connecticut in the early 1960s he joined the Silvermine Guild of artists and also continued his studies under Gail Simon Hicks and Sperry Andrew.
In the interview with Charles for this biography at the age of 82, he reflected on his career. He stated that during the 1960s and 1970s there was a conflict between Abstract art and Realism and artists were expected to choose one or the other. He indicated that this conflict was meaningless and he pursued a pathway that incorporated both. But Charles went a bit further.  His works for the most part are playful and incorporate not only some realism and abstraction but at times call upon surreal images to endow them with excitement and intensity while passing on a message to the viewer.  

A large body of his artwork is done in ink and crayon and was created over the years as he traveled throughout the world. He has a love for railroads and roller coasters, and these are among his most creative and important works. In looking through the many works still in his possession, one cannot but be amazed at how these pictures provide a documentary of the artist's life and for those of us of his generation who loved the old amusement parks, world fairs and sites throughout the United States including Alaska. But his documentary does not stop in the United States; the imagery continues throughout the continents of Europe, Asia, South America and other points around the world. As James Daugherty wrote about Charles Ramsey so many years ago when reviewing Charles’ works, “Ramsey’s canvasses have a rugged and dynamic stroke giving rich textures to impact warmth and life.” His gift as an artist will give joy and admiration for many generations.
Charles was highlighted in an article in Art News in 1960 in a review of a show at the Ahda Ardst Gallery in New York City. He exhibited at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1962, the New Britain Museum of Art in 1970, the Museum of Art Science and Industry in 1973, and the Brownstone Gallery in Brooklyn New York in 1975. Through the years he also exhibited at the Silvermine Arts Center and Rowayton Art Center both in Connecticut.
His works are in the permanent collections of Bruce Museum and the New Britain Museum of Art.


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