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 Charles Hovey Pepper  (1864 - 1950)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/Maine      Known for: landscape, genre, portrait

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Ad Code: 3
Charles Hovey Pepper
from Auction House Records.
An Elegant Woman
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Early modernist painter and woodblock printmaker, Charles Hovey Pepper, born in 1864, graduated in 1889 from Colby College, in Waterville, Maine. He later lived and worked in Concord, Massachusetts. His art education took place in New York and in Paris, at the Academie Julian. Pepper became a member of the Boston Art Club in 1912. He was also a member of "The Four Boston Painters," founded in 1913 by Carl Gordon Cutler, which included Maurice Prendergast and E. Ambrose Webster, all Academie Julian graduates. In 1915, Pepper wrote a catalog essay for Webster, a Provincetown painter, who had a one-man show at the Brooks Reed Gallery in Boston.

The group had earlier exhibited in 1913 at the Reed Gallery. All four artists would also exhibit in the 1913 Armory Show, in New York City. They were supported, in the face of traditionalist criticism, in their modernist proclivities by the St. Botolph Society and Boston Art Club, where, in 1917, Pepper became Director of the Exhibitions Committee of the latter institution, bringing his friends on board. He was democratic in exhibiting both traditional and modernist work. In 1918, to help younger artists, Pepper began the annual exhibitions of the New England Artists' Series.

In 1926, Boston Art Club members Charles Hopkinson, Harley Perkins, Marion Monks Chase, Charles Gordon Cutler, John Goss -- and Pepper left the conservative Boston Society of Water Color Painters to form the New Society of Watercolor Painters. They exhibited there with Edward Hopper, Ernest Fiene, Charles Demuth and others in that year. But the differences in artistic philosophy within the Boston Art Club led, in 1928, to the firing of Pepper and his Exhibitions Committee, ending the era of open-mindedness to modernism within the Club.

Pepper began collecting Japanese woodblock prints while in Paris, continuing to do so in 1903 while spending several months in Japan, visiting Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East. He returned to Boston in 1904. Pepper's extensive collection of prints would eventually be donated (as would some of his own prints) to his alma mater, Colby College, and to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Pepper exhibited in the Fourth Annual and Ninth Annual Exhibitions at the Concord Art Association, in 1919 and 1925 respectively, in Concord, Massachusetts. Pepper died in 1950. Colby College offers the Charles Hovey Pepper Award to its leading student in the arts.

Charles Hovey Pepper was included in an exhibition of former Boston Art Club members held at Vose Galleries, Boston, Massachusetts, in 2000.


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Charles Pepper is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
New York Armory Show of 1913

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