|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Leslie James Skelton (1848 – 1929)|
A prominent eastern Canadian and western American painter, illustrator, and educator, Leslie James Skelton was born in Montréal, Quebec and died in Colorado Springs, Colorado which, for health reasons, had been his home since 1892.
His primary mediums were oil on board and oil on canvas. Much of his fame was derived from three-color, half-tone process postcards which reproduced about 16 of his paintings. They were sold by the millions in the early 20th century. Pike’s Peak was perhaps his most famous subject; however, his subjects also included other mountain views, landscapes, shorelines, lakes, rivers, boats and still life. His style was Realism*. AskART has some good illustrations of it. (1)
Skelton’s art education includes studies in Montreal as well as in Paris (c.1885) under Marie Joseph Leon Clavel (AKA: Iwill – see AskART).
His teaching career includes the position of Vice-Principal of the Colorado Springs School of Art, which he assumed in 1892.
Among his numerous other community activities in Colorado Springs were: President of the Choral Society; Secretary of the Coburn Library Book Club; member of the Soldiers Memorial Committee;Vice-President (1913 – 1929) and Chairman of the executive committee of the Colorado Springs Art Society; and a member of the Broadmoor Art Academy*. He also organized the opening exhibition at the Colorado College Art Gallery (1900) and the first exhibition of the United Artists of Colorado Springs.
Skelton exhibited with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts* in 1890, 1896 and 1897; he exhibited with the Art Association of Montreal (now Montreal Museum of Fine Arts) from 1891 to 1923; with the Paris Salon in 1901; the Liverpool (England) Art Exhibition in 1902; the Royal Academy* (London, England) in 1904; the National Academy of Design* (New York) in 1908, and with the Society of Independent Artists* (New York) in 1917. He also exhibited with the Denver Artists' Club and in many cities in United States.
According to the Canadian Heritage Information Network* and SIRIS* there are Leslie James Skelton works in the permanent collections of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec), the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario) and the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum (Colorado), which in addition to several oil paintings has a collection of 15 Skelton postcards.
(1) The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar notes: Skelton also worked in pastels; and according to his obituaries, as a memorial to his wife, Skelton created the stained glass windows (c.1926) above the altar at Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Colorado Springs.
The Fine Arts in Canada (1925), by Newton MacTavish (see AskART book references)
The National Gallery of Canada: Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture, Volume III (1960), by R.H. Hubbard (see AskART book references)
Early Painters and Engravers in Canada (1970), by J. Russell Harper (see AskART book references)
A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald (see AskART book references)
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts: Exhibitions and Members, 1880 – 1979 (1981), by Evelyn de R. McMann (see AskART book references)
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: Spring Exhibitions 1880 – 1970 (1988), by Evelyn de R. McMann (see AskART book references)
Who Was Who in American Art, 1564 – 1975 (1999), by Peter Hastings Falk (see AskART book references)
The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar (see AskART book references)
Biographical Index of Artists in Canada (2003), by Evelyn de Rostaing McMann (see AskART book references)
Obituary – Colorado Springs Gazette, January 11, 1929
Obituary – Montreal Gazette, January 22, 1929
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, Colorado (website)
Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Colorado Springs (website)
Canadian Heritage Information Network*
Smithsonian Institution Research Information System* (SIRIS)
* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see AskART.com Glossary http://www.askart.com/AskART/lists/Art_Definition.aspx.
Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.
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