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 Archie Boyd Teater  (1901 - 1978)

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Lived/Active: Wyoming/Idaho/Minnesota      Known for: plein-aire painting, national parks, cityscapes, genre

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Archie Boyd Teater
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Archie Boyd Teater American Landscape and Genre Painter (1901 - 1978)

Archie Boyd Teater was a western landscape and genre artist who painted in an impressionist style. He was born in Boise, Idaho, on May 5, 1901, and died of cardiac arrest following surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, on July 18, 1978. Teater knew at a very young age that he wanted to be an artist, and although not finishing eighth grade he was able to study at the Portland Art Museum (1921-22) and Art Students League in New York (1935-37, 1941-45) with some of the country’s finest artists and art teachers.

He was an enormously prolific painter, with paintings numbering in the thousands that range from raw turn-of-the-century logging and mining camps in the West, to the Grand Teton Mountains of Wyoming, street scenes in cowboy and mining towns, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Central Park in New York, the San Francisco skyline, exotic markets in North Africa, the Near East and Asia, plus a historically accurate portrayal of Custer's Last Stand.

Teater was a plein-air artist, and the bulk of his painting was done on the scene in open air. He painted outdoors in every kind of weather, including rain, snow, sleet, and sub-zero temperatures. Teater painted entirely in oil, usually on canvas, but occasionally on wood or canvas board. In his youth, he did a lot of wood carving and some sculpting, and at least one early painting exists that was carved in relief before being painted. However, in his mature years, his medium appears to have been exclusively oil. He may have written a few poems, and left an unpublished novel that is an allegory of several years of family life when he was a teenager living along the Snake River in Idaho.

Although Teater was at base a nomad, the one constant in his life was Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he kept a studio and painted the Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole history and lived for 50 summers. In the 1950s, he and his wife had built on a bluff overlooking the Snake River near Hagerman, Idaho, the only artist studio-residence ever designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

During the last 20 years of their lives, the Teaters traveled to more than 100 countries. Teater painted in every one of these, eventually amassing an international collection of close to 500 canvases. Following Patricia Teater’s death in 1981, the Teaters’ personal collection of more than 1200 paintings was left to a Fund for Handicapped Children in Boise, Idaho.

Submitted by Lester D. Taylor, Tucson, AZ, September 19, 2012.

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