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 Stokely Webster  (1912 - 2001)

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Lived/Active: Connecticut/New York/Illinois      Known for: city scenes, landscape, coastal, figure

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Ad Code: 3
Stokely Webster
from Auction House Records.
View of the Louvre and Notre
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Stokely Webster was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1912. He left his birthplace to travel to Paris with his family, where he was inspired by the French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. It was at this period of his career that he embarked on his own efforts at plein-air cityscapes, a style and theme that would stay with him the rest of his life. After returning to America in 1924 he continued studies for the next ten years, seeking to educate himself in a succession of art-school courses.

In 1936 he studied for six months with Robert Henri's disciple Wayman Adams, learning portrait painting and honing his landscape technique. He combined the high-valued colors of Impressionism with the luxurious painterly means of Henri and John Singer Sargent. He is known for city scenes, landscapes, coastal and figural work. A one-man exhibition in New York brought rave reviews: "Mr. Webster paints in the way that at one time was thought the only way to paint, using the flowing strokes and well-thinned-out pigments that came to us through Sargent via Frans Hals and Velasquez." wrote a critic in the New York Sun. A writer for the New York Herald Tribune also compared Webster's technical skills to those of the noted artist John Singer Sargent. Still others praised his expertise at capturing the "momentary impression" of a place and his exceptionally convincing and precise use of light as "the force defining its mood, climate, and urban disposition."

During The outbreak of World War II he worked on the assembly line at Grumman Aircraft Corporation, leading to his interest in engineering for which he got a degree at Columbia University. He then returned to painting in 1948. He rented the former studio of George Luks, in Manhattan but a devistating fire destroyed this building four years later, destroying more than fifty-five of his canvases.

This setback led to his leaving the New York City art world and relocating to Huntington, Long Island, where he became involved as a designer. It wasn't long after that the lure of painting led him back into activity as an artist and the 1960s and 1970s saw him working on both landscapes and figural works. His paintings have been acquired by, or donated to, museums throughout the United States. His commitment to painting lyrical seascapes and city scenes in an Impressionist manner continued unabated, and museum exhibitions featuring recent work by the artist were still being organized into the mid-1990s.

Blake Benton Fine Art

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