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 Edwin Allsaints Gates  (1875 - 1950)

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Lived/Active: Michigan      Known for: commercial art, marine and landscape painting, framing

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Edwin Allsaints Gates    (1875-1950)

Edwin A. Gates, a locally (Detroit area) and nationally known commercial artist, devoted practically his whole life to art, painting actively for 60 years.  His mediums were oils, watercolors and pastels.  Gates was a self-taught artist who began his career as a framer-joiner for the Willis Art shop in Detroit.  He became interested in art as a boy and studied the great masters in museums without the aid of teacher or art school lessons.  In his spare time, as a youth, Gates did oil pastels and began selling them through local merchants such as Crowleys, Hudsons and various galleries and frame shops in the Detroit area. 

He developed a technique with oil pastels that enabled him to work fast and accurate on a number of pieces at the same time.  Eventually his reputation reached Chicago, New York and Philadelphia where he sold his pastels in lots of 25's, 50's and 100's to retail outlets in the various cities. 

The sale of the his pastels enabled Gates to earn a decent living for his family and allowed him time for his real love – oil painting. It was estimated that the artist had turned out 200,000 pictures for the public; at his peak his production was about 6,000 pictures a year.  Mr. Gates, although ill with cancer for more than a year, remained at his easel almost until the end.  He completed his last painting just days before his death, the third that week.   

The Cade Gallery in Royal Oak, Michigan held a retrospective of the artist's work in 1984.  They had the good fortune to acquire a sizeable number of Mrs. Gates oil, watercolors and pastels through contact with his son, Mr. Warren Gates, who had reached his eightieth birthday at the time. 

Submitted by Edward P. Bentley, Art Researcher, Greenville, Michigan

The Cade Gallery press release and the artist's obituary.   

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