Clifford Adams Bayard (1892–1965)
Clifford Adams Bayard is best known today for semi-impressionist landscape paintings that evoke the rich colors and seasonal moods of the Vermont countryside. During his long career, however, he traveled widely and embraced many styles and techniques.
Born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, Bayard graduated in 1917 from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh with a BFA in painting. That same year, he was sent by the American Red Cross to Angers, France, to document in photographs life at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School Hospital and to record in drawings the surgical procedures performed on wounded soldiers. In 1919, after returning to the United States, he became an instructor in the College of Fine Arts at the Carnegie Institute of Technology; but he had been intrigued by Europe’s artistic possibilities, and in 1922 he went back to France for a year of travel and painting.
From 1923 to 1927, Bayard was a professor of painting at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, teaching drawing, painting, print making, anatomy, and composition. During those years, he depicted in dynamic paintings, lithographs, and etchings the factories, steel mills, and smoke stacks of industrial Pittsburgh.
But the lure of Europe was too strong to resist. In 1927 Bayard returned for a four-year stay, taking with him his wife, Florence, also an artist. They traveled through France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, and he recorded his impressions in a variety of styles. In his paintings of Paris, for example, he used a palette knife to apply thick paint in compositions reminiscent of the works of the Fauvists Raoul Dufy and Maurice de Vlaminck. Some of his other European scenes exhibit an expressionist bent, the result of his studies in Paris with the abstract painter Vaclav Vytlacil. More realistic are the elegant drawings, lithographs, and etchings he did during this sojourn on the continent. In these, quaint villages and rustic landscapes are depicted in a style that is often reminiscent of the old masters.
When Bayard returned to the United States in 1931, he looked for a place to live that would have something of the character of “old world” Europe. This he found in Vermont, which at that time was unspoiled by development. He settled in the small town of Wilmington, where he spent the rest of his life painting and teaching private students. He became known for oil and water color paintings, pastels, etchings, lithographs, line drawings, and photographs that recorded the essence of the Vermont landscape, with its characteristic sugar houses, old mills, unpaved roads, brilliant fall foliage, snow-covered mountains, and peaceful villages with tidy white houses and church steeples.
While Bayard’s Vermont paintings are more realistic than many of his earlier works, the term “realism” is not entirely apt. Rather, with their forceful compositions, thickly applied paint, and vivid colors, these paintings combine the abstract tendencies of his formative years with an attention to detail that makes the places he depicted immediately recognizable. Today, they are memorials to a landscape and a way of life that have largely disappeared.
Associated Artists, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1922, 1944
Stockbridge Art Association, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1936
Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1929
Bennington Museum, Bennington, Vermont, 1941
Vermont Artists Guild, Manchester, Vermont,1941
Southern Vermont Art Center, Manchester, Vermont, 1950
Albany Institute, Albany, New York, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1950
American Federation of Arts, traveling exhibition, 1938-1939
American Water Color Society, New York, New York, 1939
Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1935-1942, 1944-1949
Bennington Museum of Art, Bennington, Vermont, 1940, 1947
Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 1940
Boston Society of Independent Artists, Boston, Massachusetts, 1947, 1948
Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1920
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 1939
Deerfield Valley Art Association, Greenfield, Massachusetts, 1941, 1942, 1948
National Academy of Design, New York, New York, 1938, 1940, 1941
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1939, 1940
Pittsfield Museum of Art, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 1945
Southern Vermont Art Center, Manchester, Vermont, 1934-1942, 1946-1949, 1951-1955
Springfield Art League, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1939-1943, 1947-1948
Stockbridge Art Association, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1934-1938
Vermont Artists Guild, Manchester, Vermont, 1940, 1942, 1946
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia, 1940
Williams College Museum, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1934-1937, 1940,1942, 1946-1951
World’s Fair, New York City, 1939
American Federation of Arts
Artists Equity Association
Associated Artists of Pittsburgh
Deerfield Valley Art Association
Springfield Art Association
He signed his work Clifford Adams Bayard Sometimes he signed C.A.B. or C.A. Bayard.