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 William Stone Beeken  (1897 - 1952)

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Lived/Active: New Jersey/Florida/Vermont      Known for: mountain landscape

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted September 2004, is from Bill Mayhew, son of the artist.

William S. Beeken was my father. He died when I was 6 years old, so I have very little recollection of him personally. Much of what I know comes from family and saved newspaper clippings and other family material. I have about 20 of his paintings.

He was born is 1897 in Fanwood, Union County, New Jersey. He went to Plainfield High School, and became an aviator in World War I. After the war, he used his skill as a pilot to get a job flying air mail planes over the Andes in South America. He painted the mountain scenes he saw from the air from memory, and had several gallery shows locally in New Jersey, and I believe on 57th Street in Manhattan.

During the 30's, he continued to paint and have local gallery shows in Northern New Jersey. He married my mother in 1943 in Williamsburg, Va., and moved to West Palm Beach, Florida where I was born. We also spent a year in Springfield, Massachusetts before moving back to West Palm Beach.

As nearly as I can tell his painting was at this time an avocation - he supported his family as a salesman for an industrial supplier. My mother died in West Palm Beach when I was 3 (in 1949), and my father asked his brother-in-law and wife (my aunt and uncle) to raise me temporarily while he got back on his feet.

He then moved to Rutland, Vermont where he painted full time, and supported himself doing so. Most of the paintings I have of his are from this period. He died in Rutland in 1952.

After he died I was formally adopted by my aunt and uncle (with whom I had been living), and my last name was changed from Beeken to their name, Mayhew. Beeken became my middle name.

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