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 Robert Gaston Herbert  (1873 - 1954)

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Lived/Active: New York/Ohio      Known for: marine paintings, commercial art, wood carvings

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Ad Code: 4
Robert Gaston Herbert
from Auction House Records.
Evening Sail
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted May 2004, is from Peter O. Herbert of Houston, Texas.

Robert G. Herbert (Sr.) was my grandfather. As a young boy, I spent a week every summer with Granny and Grampus in their Sea Cliff home on Long Island. I can still smell his shop and his studio ... as well as Granny's kitchen.

While it is quite abbreviated, I am pleased to share the following biographical sketch of the artist with you. For instance, even though his primary medium was oil, he also worked in water color, charcoal and pencil/pen-and-ink. His talents also extended to woodworking, pewter (with a display in the 1939 New York World's Fair) and snow sculpture.

Please credit the Sea Cliff, New York Good of the Village Association for the following from the GVA Program for the Robert Gaston Herbert Exhibit, June 27 -July 17, 1976


Robert Gaston Herbert was born in South Charlestown, Ohio on March 29, 1873. His youth was spent in various Ohio towns and it was to the University of Ohio in Cincinnati that he went to study electrical engineering. While there he developed a strong interest in art and transferred to the Cincinnati Art School, from which he graduated in 1894. Two years later Herbert moved to New York City, enrolled in the Art Students League, and obtained a job in the art department of the American Lithograph Company.

By 1906 he was in a position to open his own freelance commercial art studio, at first concentrating on advertising art, but eventually branching out into all forms of commercial and fine art. This studio, at 333 Fourth Avenue, where Mr. Herbert worked for some twenty years, produced book jackets, book illustrations, magazine, picture commissions, and even murals. Some of Mr. Herbert's murals are to be found in the Rockville Centre High School, Old Court House in Mineola, the Hempstead Town Hall, many banks in Brooklyn and New York and even in an executive airplane owned by General Motors.

In 1903 R. G. Herbert was married to Samantha Foglesong, a decorator and designer of pottery who was then studying at Pratt Institute. Five years later the Herberts moved to Freeport, Long Island, and then in 1910 settled down in Sea Cliff. They built a house on the corner of Littleworth Lane and Laurel Avenue and then in 1922 moved to Littleworth Lane and Glenlawn Avenue, where they lived for the next 27 years, brought up their three children - Theodore, Robert, Jr., and Louise - and partook actively of the civic and social life of the Village. In 1949 Mr. and Mrs. Herbert retired to Ward Manor where Mr. Herbert died in 1954 and his wife in 1956.

The truly creative artist cannot be confined by one technique, one medium, one art form. His world encompasses everything and he sees in everything the possibility of its being transformed into something beautiful, whether it be a twig, a brick, a sheet of paper or a sheet of pewter. Mr. Herbert was such an artist, as attested to by the wide variety of objects at this exhibition - wood carvings, pottery, spoon racks, spoons, mail boxes, fireplaces, ships, etc. There was little that touched his sensibilities that did not benefit from a transformation by his unbounded creativity.

Additional information from Paul J. Berberich:
Robert Gaston Herbert painted regatta awards for the Sea Cliff Yacht Club.  My father won the Wee Scott Class Saturday Series at the club in 1942 and was awarded a (16x20) painting of his boat sailing on Hempstead Harbor which also included, in the upper left hand corner, the particulars of the award.  Herbert’s mastery of light, wind, wave and the intricacies naval architecture are clearly evident.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
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