Friday, May 3, 2019

William Lester Stevens; Early Morning-Gloucester Harbor

William Lester Stevens (1888-1969) was an American artist who was born in Rockport, MA in 1888.  He had a long and prodigious career which began at an early age.  By eighteen, he had already shown at the National Academy of Design and been accepted to the Boston M.F.A. school where he studied under Edmund  Tarbell.  During his career, he taught at both Princeton and Boston University and won over 100 national awards and prizes for his work (more than any other living artist in New England).  In addition to exhibiting at The National Academy, he also exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy, the Corcoran Gallery and the Guild of Boston Artists.  His work is in the permanent collections of museums and private institutions throughout the U.S. including the Smithsonian American Art Museum in D.C.  His paintings, particularly his harbor scenes, have been achieving some outstanding results at auction during the past few years.  This wonderful oil on canvas board was painted by Stevens on August 2, 1963 in Gloucester, MA, and is entitled Early Morning-Gloucester Harbor.  It's painted with a favored palette of the period and depicts a misty Gloucester Harbor with several boats docked in the foreground and more abstracted boats and buildings in the background.  The frame is a nice quality more recent addition but the painting would really benefit from a different style like a giltwood or thick ebonized wood frame.  It's titled and dated on the reverse with an older gallery sticker from Piggins Art Gallery in Montclair, N.J.  Framed, 27" l., 23" h. Canvas, 20" l., 16" h.  American, c. 1963 SOLD