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 Roy Martell Mason  (1886 - 1972)

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Lived/Active: New York/California      Known for: landscape, marine and wildlife-genre painting

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Ad Code: 2
Roy Martell Mason
from Auction House Records.
Overnight Stop in the North
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Gilbert Mills, New York, Roy Martell Mason painted a wide range of outdoor subject matter reflecting his interest in hunting and fishing.  He won many awards including the Gold Medal from the American Watercolor Society.  He was also an illustrator, whose work appeared in Reader's Digest and True magazines.

Mason was raised on a farm and was encouraged in his art talent by his father who worked as an engraver and who also taught his son the skills and love of outdoor sports.

His art education consisted of only one correspondence course, which he later referred to as his "formal art training."  He worked with his father in an engraving business, and then became head of the art department for a Philadelphia lithograph company while maintaining his own studio for painting.

A close friend of artist Chauncey Ryder from 1926, Mason often painted with him in New Hampshire.

He became a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists, the Salmagundi Club, the American Federation of Arts, the Philadelphia Water Color Club, Grand Central Galleries and an Associate Member of the National Academy of Design.

In 1959, he and his wife, Lena, moved to LaJolla, California, where they lived the remainder of their years.

Sources include:
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Gilbert Mills, NY on March 15, 1886, Roy Martell Mason was primarily self-taught, but received criticism from Chauncey Ryder.  As well as hunting and fishing scenes, he also did illustrations for magazines including Collier's, True, and Reader's Digest.

While maintaining a studio in Batavia, New York, he began spending long periods in southern California in the 1930s and later lived there until his death in La Jolla on Aug. 13, 1972.

National Academy; Salmagundi Club; American Watercolor Society.

National Academy of Design, 1930; Salmagundi Club, 1930, 1931 (awards); Art Institute of Chicago, 1941; American WaterColor Society, 1956 (gold medal); Laguna Beach Art Association, 1960-61; Los Angeles County Fair, 1961.

Art Institute of Chicago; Illinois State Museum; Haggin Museum (Stockton); MM; Toledo Museum.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Who's Who in American Art 1936-70; Death record.
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.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following comes from Kirk Arnold:

My great aunt, Edith Gregg, was a school teacher in Pennelville, New York from the late 1800's through the early 1950's.  During that time Roy Mason and Edith became good friends.  Roy would often come to paint in the "ballroom" of her family's hotel.  He commented that the lighting in the room was just perfect for painting.  Roy often gave Aunt Eddie a painting as a Christmas present.  One interesting painting Men Mending Nets is also in the Roy Mason exhibit in Batavia, but from a different angle.

Roy kept in contact with Aunt Eddie through the remainder of her life and also with my mom after they moved to California.  

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted September 2005, is from Blue Harris, who has the information on the back of paintings he owns by the artist:

"This fine water color is from the brush of Roy Mason, a National Academician since 1940.  Who's Who in America rates him as tops in his field and the most recent in a long list of awards for his work won the Gold Medal of Honor, given to him by the Audubon Artists in 1945."

Biography from Artistic Gallery:
Born 1886 in Gilbert Mills, New York and dying 1972 in La Jolla, California, Roy Mason had firsthand knowledge of wildfowl, shooting and fishing for sport provided themes for the vast majority of his paintings.  His use of the medium of watercolor enabled him to create landscape and wildlife paintings that reached a large audience outside of the sporting community.

The exposure to outdoor life and art were instilled in Roy Mason by his father, Frank E. Mason.  The elder Mason was a farmer-turned-engraver, who trained his son in the use of rod and gun on frequent outings in New York state and Canada.  He also instructed both Roy and his older sister Nina in the techniques of drawing.

A correspondence course from New York was the only formal training for Roy Mason, an artist who won the gold Medal of Honor of the America Watercolor Society in 1961.

When Frank Mason established a label manufacturing company in the family's hometown of Batavia, New York, Roy Mason went to work making the drawings for his father's engravings.  But the younger Mason also painted in watercolor. He entered the Strathmore Watercolor Paper Contest and won third prize, a trip to Puerto Rico. After painting on that island, he resolved to pursue a career as a painter.

Roy Mason worked in Philadelphia until 1919, when he returned to Batavia to head the art department of his father's firm.  In 1959 he retired and moved to California.

He began to exhibit his paintings with local and national art associations and to produce art work for nationally distributed periodicals.  In 1940 he was elected to full membership in the National Academy of Design. During this artist's lifetime, his watercolors were featured in one-man shows in galleries and museums across the United States.

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