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 Samuel Baldwin Pratt  (1903 - 1999)

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Lived/Active: Virginia      Known for: landscape, sculptor

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Ad Code: 4
Samuel Baldwin Pratt
An example of work by Samuel Baldwin Pratt
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is a biography from Kyle Stephens of Collectors Gallery, Covington, Louisiana:

Samuel B Pratt was born in Unison, Virginia, May 28, 1903 and studied four years under Eugenie de Land Saugstad and Alexius Manny and from 1919 to 1934 at the Washington School of Art. He also studied four years under Will H Chandlee 1923 through 1926; Corcoran School of Art 1927 through 1930 under Eugen Weisz, Burtis Baker and Richard Merryman. He studied outdoor painting under Eugen Weisz and Garnet Jex 1931 to 1934 and took a special course in sculpture in 1941 under Heineke Warneke and also took special classes under Richard Lahey and Weisz.

His work was represented in the Pepsi-Cola show of 1946, and his painting "Moonlight" is in the permanent collection of the Corcoran Art Gallery.

Among the collectors of paintings of Samuel B. Pratt are the following: Father Walsh, Mrs. Junis P. Morgan, Richard Lahey, Burtis Baker, and Eugen Weisz, as well as well as 34 other well known artists.

One man shows have been held at the Corcoran Art Gallery in 1946, where Mr. Pratt's show of 48 paintings were all sold. Because of the demand for Mr. Pratt's works 25 additional paintings were added to the show and also were sold. He won first prize in Pennsylvania at the Art fair in 1971 and second prize in water color in Hot Springs, Virginia, 1974; first prize in oils in Buena Vista, Virginia, 1975.
The following is fromJoseph William Harned, of Destin, Florida.

Samuel Baldwin PRATT is in the permanent collection of the Corcoran Gallery of the National Galleries of Art in Washington. He was born in Unison, Virginia May 28, 1903 and died in Virginia (place not known to me) circa 1996 or 1997.

He studied under Eugenie De Land Saugstad and Alexius Manny, 1919-1923; at the Washington School of Art under Will H. Chandlee, 1923-1926; and at the Corcoran School of Art under Eugen Weisz, Burtis Baker, and Richard Merryman, 1927-1930. From 1931-1934 he studied plein-air painting under Weisz and Garnet Jex.

His work was represented at the Pepsi-Cola Show of 1946, and later that same year the Corcoran accepted to do what the Corcoran "never does": it gave him a one-man show. (All of his life he painted primarily plein air in a fauviste pallette, and luminist "moonlight" landscapes, one of which is in the Corcoran.) Before the end of the first week of his Corcoran one-man show, every one of his 48 displayed paintings was sold. He was sent home to bring back more, brought in and hung another 25, which sold out a second time by the close of the show. This degree of instant success had never happened before in the history of the Corcoran; nor has it happened since.

Private collections that included his work (by 1970): Father Walsh, Mrs. J. P. Morgan, Richard Lahey, Burtis Baker, Eugen Weisz, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Japanese collectors refer to Pratt as "the last American Fauvist". The famous collection of Fauvist paintings housed in the Keidanren building at the base of Mount Fuji has only one American painting in the entire collection --- signed Samuel Baldwin Pratt.

Dated: 1989
Oil on Board
18" x 24"
Oil on Board
18" x 24"
Oil on Board
18" x 21"

Oil on Board
20" x 24"
"The Blue House"
Oil on Board
24" x 30"
Dated: 1985
Oil on Board
12" x 16"

Oil on Board
24" x 30"

Biography from Corcoran Gallery of Art:
Records in the Corcoran Archives show that Samuel Baldwin Pratt (1903-1999) studied at the Corcoran School of Art in the 1927-28, 1939-40, and 1944-45 seasons. Online sources have indicated that he was a student from 1929-30 and although we know our student records are incomplete, we can only verify the dates given above. Pratt was also employed by the Corcoran Gallery from 1938 to 1955 - as a maintenance man (1938-44), acting superintendent (1944-45) and foreman (1945-55) - and so it is likely that he sat in on courses during those years.

He had a solo exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery: Paintings by Samuel Pratt, on view from August 12 through September 3, 1945. There was no catalogue for the exhibition although we do have a list of the works included. (It should also be noted that although some online sources have stated that it was unusual for the Corcoran to have given him a one-person show, the Corcoran had hosted more than four hundred solo exhibitions by 1945 and they continue to comprise about half of our exhibition schedule.)

Pratt participated in two of the Corcoran's Biennial exhibitions:

19th Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Oil Paintings
March 18 - April 29, 1945
#117. Golden Day

22nd Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Oil Paintings
April 1 - May 13, 1951
#203. In the Park

He was represented in several of the Corcoran's Area exhibitions as well (4th in 1949, 7th in 1952, and 9th in 1955).

The Corcoran's permanent collection includes one painting by Pratt, Moonlight (oil on canvas, 24 1/4 x 36 1/4 in, gift of the artist in 1947.)

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