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 Courtland L. Butler  (1871 - 1952)

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania/Connecticut/Florida/Ohio      Known for: landscape and nocturne painting, architectural

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Ad Code: 4
Courtland L Butler
from Auction House Records.
A Sunny Day
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information was submitted in March 2006 by Kevin Murphy:

The dentist, architect, draftsman and landscape painter Courtland Livingston Butler was born in Columbus, Ohio in November 1871.  He was educated in the local schools and then attended dental school in Michigan.  It was while he was in dental college that he met his future wife Rose.  The two were married in 1894 and the first of their two children, Courtland L., Jr., was born in January 1897.

By 1900, the family was living in Dubuque, Iowa, where Butler practiced dentistry and where the couple's second child, Isabelle, was born.   Since Butler did not date his paintings, it is not known exactly when he began to paint seriously, but dentistry was not a particularly lucrative profession at the turn of the 20th century, and it is reasonable to assume that he supplemented his income with sales of his oil paintings from early on.

By 1910, Butler, now in is mid-thirties, was making a living as an architect and home builder in the Edgewood section of present day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Times were good and the Butlers even employed a servant at their Oakview Avenue home.  But Butler had his sights on better things.

At the time, the richest town in America on a per capita basis was Hartford, Connecticut and the size and scope of the home building there made the relocation irresistible to the peripatetic dentist/architect/home builder.   But when Butler got to Hartford in 1928, work wasn't readily available to newcomers and he worked only as a draftsman, continuing with oil painting as a sideline.

Initially, the Butlers were boarders in the home of Rose Lila on Bloomfield Avenue in the northwest corner of Hartford.  Later they bought a place on the West Hartford side of Prospect Street, Hartford's western-most city line.

By 1932, the Great Depression had reduced architects and builders to idlers and records make it clear that Butler was painting landscapes full-time to make a living.  In some ways, Butler was strange duck, having himself listed in the 1935 Hartford City Directory followed by the cryptic words, "Christian Science practitioner."

Butler and his wife eventually tired of the Northeast and relocated to Florida, where he died in 1952 at the age of 84.

Sources include:

Information for this biography comes from the US Census Reports, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930;  Davenport's Art Reference and Price Guide, Who's Who in American Art, Connecticut Historical Society, Connecticut State Library, Hartford City Directories and Heritage Quest.


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