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 Horace Talmage Day  (1909 - 1984)

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Lived/Active: Virginia/South Carolina / China      Known for: portrait, still life, figure and landscape easel painting, murals

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Horace Talmage Day
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Biography from Charleston Renaissance Gallery:
HORACE DAY (1909-1984)

Born to missionary parents in China, Horace Talmage Day traveled far from his place of birth, developing an enduring association with the American South over the course of his career. He immigrated to New York City in 1927 and enrolled that same year at the Art Students League, studying with noted painters Boardman Robinson and Kenneth Hayes Miller until 1931. He was a recipient of a Tiffany Foundation fellowship, spending summers in Oyster Bay, Long Island from 1930 through 1933. Day was an artist-in-residence at the Henry Street Settlement in Manhattan in 1934 and 1935. A founding member of the Southern Vermont Artists Association, he was active with that group between 1935 and 1938.

Day’s infatuation with the South began in 1936 with his appointment as director of the Herbert Institute in Augusta, Georgia, a post he held until 1941. This was followed by a brief tenure as a professor of art at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. When the United States entered World War II, Day was granted leave to serve in the army. While his official assignment involved map preparation, the artist used his off-duty hours to record his impressions of war. Day returned to Mary Baldwin College, working there until 1967, when he founded his own commercial enterprise, the St. Memin Gallery, in Alexandria, Virginia. Upon his retirement in 1971, Day devoted himself to painting for the remainder of his life.

A prolific artist, Day executed portraits, still lifes, illustrations, murals, and produced a significant body of work in watercolor, most often portraying Southern scenes. He called himself a regional painter and was dedicated to creating picturesque views of the South and its people in a naturalistic style. He favored working outdoors and directly from the subject, attempting always “to make a synthesis of . . . impressions that speak in a language of art.” He nurtured a special affinity for the Carolina Lowcountry, recording the area’s character with rare sensitivity. “I see beauty in Charleston in places where many people would never dream of discovering it,” he once said.

This essay is copyrighted by the Charleston Renaissance Gallery and may not be reproduced or transmitted without written permission from Hicklin Galleries, LLC.


Biography from Carolina Galleries - Southern Art:
Horace Day was born in Amoy, China to American missionary parents. He graduated from Shanghai American School in 1927 and came to the United States where he studied at the Art Students League in New York.

Day first exhibited his work at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1931. From 1933 until World War II, Day was represented by the Macbeth Gallery. He was the Director of Painting at the Herbert Institute of Art in Augusta, GA from 1936 until 1941 and a professor of art at Mary Baldwin College in Stanton, VA from 1942 until 1967. Day traveled widely in the United States, as well as to Italy and the Caribbean.

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