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 Gamaliel Waldo Beaman  (1852 - 1937)

About: Gamaliel Waldo Beaman
 

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Lived/Active: New Hampshire/Massachusetts      Known for: Landscape, still life painting

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Waldo G. Beaman is primarily known as Gamaliel Waldo Beaman

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Gamaliel Waldo Beaman
from Auction House Records.
New England mountain landscape, possibly New Hampshire
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Gamaliel Waldo Beaman, born in Westminster, Massachusetts, was a student at the Lowell Institute and exhibited at the Boston Art Club in the 1870s and 1880s.  In 1878, he went to Paris, France for further study.

His preference, however, was for a more rural lifestyle.  He lived in Northfield, Massachusetts, purportedly with a mountain hermit.

During that time he received a commission from the Evangelist Dwight Moody and also met Mary Priest Stern, who became his wife.  Mary died, however, shortly after the birth of their second child.  Beaman's second wife, Eileen Marie Sherman, was an avid traveler and enthusiastic promoter of her husbands art.

He also traveled in the American West, completing oil paintings including "Black Canyon, Estes, Colorado."

He signed his paintings in two ways, W.G. Beaman and G.W. Beaman.
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From Carnell H. Bailey: I have three oil paintings by Gamaliel Waldo Beaman and on the back of each painting is a copy of Page 25, National Antiques Review, ----September 1972.

ARTIST - WALDO GAMALIEL BEAMAN by Dorothy C. Pollen

Many people are asking about the work of Waldo Gamaliel Beaman, including an extremely reputable gallery in Boston, Massachusetts.

Among those interested in this American artist, who painted on canvas and wood in oils and pastels, is Mrs. Evelyn True of Northfield, Mass.

" I've lived with the Beaman family for more than five years," she chuckles, referring to her careful research of Beaman's life.  "I really feel like Waldo is a distant cousin.  This artist had great talent which was never recognized."

The discriminating collector has begun to eye Beaman's work recently, however, and one large landscape recently sold for several thousand dollars.

Public libraries in Massachusetts have preserved many of the early Beaman landscapes in oils, and several fine paintings of his can be seen at the Westminster Historical Society Museum.

Beaman was born in 1852 and his daughter, Miss Madelin Beaman, says he came from a poor family.  As a young man he had a studio in Boston, on Tremont Street, and managed to take lessons from several artists.  He attended Lowell Institute but wanted to paint rural scenes.  He went to Northfield and lived with a hermit on a mountain.  His early paintings in this Connecticut Valley town many times were exchanged for board and room.  At one point he was commissioned to paint a scene, by Evangelist Dwight L. Moody.

Waldo's first wife was Mary Priest Stearns, who visited Northfield.  She died shortly after the birth of their second child.  He remarried a widow, Eileen Rand Sherman of North Adams.  Beaman's second wife proved to be most helpful as they traveled the resort hotel circuit across the country.  The second wife would give intimate studio teas in resort hotels where Beaman worked, and in gentile fashion promote her husband's work.

One of these studios was in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he painted scenes on Lookout Mountain.  In recent years, his works hung at the summit house on Mount Wachusett in central Massachusetts.

In his early life, Beaman traveled west to paint the majestic Sierra Madre range.  He also studied one year in Paris and earned his passage abroad by escorting the daughter of a wealthy cousin and her mother to England, where the girl was to study.  His return stateside was much less luxurious as he worked his passage on a cattle boat.

At one point, it seems he sought inspiration from earlier painters for he did a scene from Brattleboro, Vermont Cemetery near the birthplace of William Morris Hunt, American painter.  Contemporaries and critics praised his work and said Beaman's studio in Cambridge was almost like a private gallery in itself.  One newspaper account states that his paintings "were like a poem and picture in one."

It is Beaman's early paintings which bring prices ranging from $100 up today, depending on the size.  In his later years, the artist's eyesight began to fail and his work was not high quality.  Yet he supported himself and his family by his art sales until his death in 1937.

While living in Princeton, Mass., he decorated the interior of a fine old colonial home with murals of landscapes above the wainscoting.  His wife's bedroom he adorned with floral scenes.

He augmented his art sales by operating an Americana shop in Princeton and earned the nickname of "Antique" Beaman.  The artist is described by his daughter as being an impatient man, and toward the end of his life, neighbors described him as cantankerous.  But his majestic mountains, surging seas, and impression of the summer sun on bright red clover remain.  His legacy reveals a tender and sensitive soul, who loved America's wilderness, and preserved it for future generations.

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