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 Irving Ramsey Wiles  (1861 - 1948)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: portrait, figure, sea-landscape and marine [aomtomg

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Irving Ramsey Wiles
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Utica, New York, Irving Wiles was educated at the Sedgwick Institute, Great Barrington, Massachusetts.  He considered a career as a violinist, but rather began to learn the basics of art from his father and Lemuel Maynard Wiles, at the age of 17.  The following year he had exhibited at the National Academy of Design.  He then studied at the Art Students League under James Carroll Beckwith and William Merritt Chase from 1879 to 1881.  Chase not only influenced his style, but also became a lasting friend, choosing Wiles to complete the portrait commissions left unfinished at his death.  In 1882 he went to Paris as a student of Carolus-Duran, Boulanger, and Jules Lefebvre, attending the Academie Julien.

When Wiles returned to New York City in 1884, he found it necessary to divide his time between painting and illustrating for Century, Harper's and Scribner's magazines, since portrait work was not sufficient.  In 1897 he was elected to the National Academy of Design and thereafter more time was dedicated to his oil figure and portraiture work.

With a "free, dashing style," he established himself as a portrait, landscape, and genre painter in New York.  He won numerous prestigious prizes in New York and at the Paris Salon.  He was one of eight painters commissioned by the National Art Committee to paint the history of World War I. President Roosevelt and William Jennings Bryant sat for Wiles.

In about 1895, he and his father began conducting summer art classes at his father's Silver Lake Art School on the North Fork of Long Island. Subsequently, Irving purchased land and built a studio at Peconic and was there until his death in 1948 at the age of 87.

Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
Shannon Auction, 10/24/02

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Irving Ramsey Wiles was the son of artist, Lemuel Maynard Wiles, who maintained a studio on Washington Square in New York City. The father was pleased with his son's artistic aptitude and encouraged him to enroll at the Art Students League.  At the League, the young Wiles studied under William Merritt Chase, who had the greatest impact on his painterly style.

After one year of study in Europe, Wiles returned to New York in 1883, supporting himself as an illustrator.  By the 1890s, he began to earn an income as a painting instructor.

During the 1890s, Wiles established himself as one of the best young portraitists and figure painters on the East Coast.  Wiles enjoyed a successful career, winning numerous, important artistic prizes.

Around 1920, the artist purchased a home in Peconic on the North Fork of Long Island, where he spent his summers until his death in 1948.

Owen Gallery

Biography from Roger King Fine Art, Q - Z:
The son of artist Lemuel Maynard Wiles, Irving Wiles became one of the most celebrated portrait painters of America's Gilded Age.  Though he created many beautiful landscape paintings and watercolors, he is perhaps best remembered as a portraitist.  Among his clients were Theodore Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryant, Mrs. Edward Redfield, and actress Julia Marlowe, whose portrait was said to have caused as much of a sensation as its subject.

Born in Utica, New York and educated at Sedgwick Academy in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Wiles originally considered becoming a professional violinist.  He studied art as a teenager with his father, and had his first exhibition at the National Academy of Design at the age of eighteen.  He went on to study at the Art Students' League with James Carroll Beckwith and William Merritt Chase.  He developed an enduring friendship with Chase, who chose Wiles to complete the portrait commissions left unfinished at the time of Chase's death;  Wiles was widely considered to be Chase's successor.  Wiles also studied in Paris with Carolus-Duran, whose dramatic influence in many of his portraits is visible, and at the Academie Julian with Jules Lefebvre and Gustave Boulanger.

On his return to New York in 1884, Wiles made illustrations for Century, Harper's, and Scribner's magazines.  He taught at his studio and at his father's Silver Lake Art School in New York.  He participated in many exhibitions, among them shows at the Paris Salons, the Society of American Artists, Brooklyn Art Association, Corcoran Gallery, Newport Art Association, Boston Art Club, the American Water Color Society, and the National Academy of Design, where he received the Hallgarten Prize and was elected a full member in 1897.

He was also a frequent exhibitor at national expositions such as the 1893 Columbian, the St. Louis Exposition (1904), the Paris Expositions of 1889 and 1900; the Appalachian Exposition (1910); Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo (1901); and San Francisco's Pan-Pacific Exposition (1915), winning at least four gold medals, ten prizes, and awards from various venues.

Today Wiles' paintings are in museum collections in Europe and throughout the U.S., including the National Portrait Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery, Metropolitan Museum, Smithsonian, the Butler Institute of American Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the DeYoung Museum, West Point Military Academy, and many others.

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Irving Wiles is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915
Paris Pre 1900

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