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 Philip Severin  (1894 - 1986)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: regional scene, landscape, illustrator

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Philip Severin
An example of work by Philip Severin
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Philip Severin (1894-1986). Painter, Lithographer, Landscape Architect, Historian. Philip Severin was born in New York City in 1894, the son of Jacob and Rose Severin (Zvirin). In 1899, at the age of 3, he moved with his family to an 28 acre farm located in Larchmont, New York. After attending local schools, in 1913 Severin was accepted to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

While attending the University he studied landscape architecture and attended classes with fellow schoolmate, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978). He exhibited at the University Gallery and won first prize there for a piece entered in the exhibition of 1916. Following his graduation from the University, in 1917 he was awarded a scholarship to study at the prestigious American Academy in Rome, Italy.

Following the first World War, Severin conducted his own landscape design business where his training at Cornell was put to the test. In 1926 he joined his brother, Emil, in what would become a highly successful real estate business, The Severin Company.

After many years in the real estate field, Severin retired and shifted his focus back to the study of local history and the fine arts. He turned back to the art field earnestly in the early 1950's, and won his first award since 1916 in 1955 for a work exhibited at the Mamaroneck Women's Club. This was followed by nine further local and regional awards, including those presented for his work in oils (1958), pastels (1969), and drawings. An exhibition of his works were displayed in the "Stairway Gallery" at the Larchmont Public Library in 1973.

He was particularly fascinated with local scenes, and depicted the everyday surroundings around Larchmont and Mamaroneck vigorously. He also enjoyed traveling to Long Island, New York, where he painted and sketched in various villages and towns. Many of his paintings and drawings were reproduced commercially and sold around the world. Many of those included images of places and locales in New York, including an image titled "Far Above Cayuga's Waters," which continues to be sold by the Cornell University Bookstore. Severin worked in all media, including ink, crayon, pencil, pastel, watercolor, and oils.

He was the author of many articles on local and regional history, including "Recalling Old Larchmont (1969-70)," of which he was also the illustrator. Philip Severin died at the age of 91 in February of 1986 in Larchmont, where he had been a resident for 87 years. At the time of his death he was known locally as "Mr. Larchmont." A special program, entitled "The Life and Times of Philip Severin 1894-1986," was presented at the Larchmont Historical Society not long after his death.

His works are held in many private and public collections, including the Incorporated Village of Larchmont, the Larchmont Historical Society, and other local institutions.

Submitted October 2003 by Geoffrey K. Fleming,
Director
Southold Historical Society,
Southold, NY




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