American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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Curator's Comments: In 1895, with his charismatic and influential friend, painter
Robert Henri, and fellow art student William Glackens, Walter Elmer Schofield
(1866-1944) started in Paris and  bicycled round Holland and Belgium to view the
Dutch masters. The trip that established him as the "landscape bird," among the
Philadelphia Gang. The phrase comes from a letter from Sloan to Henri, where the far
lesser painter calls Schofield's work  "remarkably knowing for a  landscape bird." And
indeed Schofield ranks with Redfield as one of the leading American impressionist
landscape painters.

  Schofield was born September 10, 1866 (rev.) in Philadelphia.  His parents had
emigrated from England, and Schofield is descended from an illustrious creative
family; his mother, Mary Wollstonecraft Schofield, was the grand-niece of Mary
Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of
Frankenstein. Not enjoying the best of health as
a child, he was sent out West by his father to toughen him up, and, for eighteen
months in 1884-5, he lived the life of a cowboy.  Schofield  went on to attend the
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, studying with Thomas Anshutz from 1889-92,
before leaving for the Academie Julian in Paris, where he studied under Bouguereau,
and Ferrier,  but his travels in France and especially Brittany fired his enthusiasm for
Impressionism.

    In October 1897, he married Muriel Redmayne, whom he had met initially in
Philadelphia.  In 1901, they emigrated to England, living initially in Southport,
Muriel's former hometown.  In 1903, now with two young sons, they  moved to St
Ives, Cornwall, where they stayed for four years, during which time he was
instrumental in getting work by his St Ives friends, particularly Hayley Lever, hung in
American shows.  His focus on landscape painting intensified, and  he was influenced
by the plein-air approach of the artist colony. He adopted a broader view and lighter
palette, and proclaimed to his compatriots: "Zero weather, rain, falling snow, wind -
all of these things to contend with only make the open-air painter love the fight...He is
an open-air man, wholesome, healthy, hearty, and his art, sane and straightforward,
reflects his temperament."  
Prior Catalogue Page
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The Artist, ca. 1935
Liet on the Godolphin Estate Oil on Canvas, 26 x 30, Signed
"Spring Morning" brought $57,000 in 2005
WE HAVE PLACED TWO SCHOFIELD'S IN  MUSEUMS
WE HAVE JUST ONE MASTERPIECE LEFT!
In 1904, his "Center Bridge, Across the River," earned a Carnegie Institute medal,
establishing him as a talent that would continue to flourish and evolve, until it came
to dominate pre-WWII American landscape painting. The Corcoran held three one-
man exhibitions of his work in 1912, 1920 and 1931. Schofield made more than forty
crossings of the Atlantic by steamer, and, between 1902 and 1937. He favoured the
American exhibition circuit and American patrons and, during the first three decades
of the twentieth century, he became regarded as one of the top-ranking American
landscape painters and is now ranked as one of the most important of the American
Impressionists.  In 1937, Schofields son Sidney purchased Godolphin House, a
manor dating from the 15th century, near Helston, and the Schofields returned to
Cornwall in 1938.  In 1941, after his son's marriage, they moved to Gwedna House,
a smaller residence on the estate, where he died in 1944.

A unique modernism characterizes his final nature paintings, done during his
Godolphin period. These later works are in a new impressionist mode, which saw
Schofield limit his palette, to a spectrum of green hues, along with his typical whites,
blacks and cobalt blues--to produce genuine magnificence.With  the same interaction,
the water and woods mesh more subtly but the process of generation is clearly at
work. "Liet" is Cornish for Brook. There is much insight in Schofields remark that
"nature is always vital, even in her implicit moods and never denies a vision" to the
artist. His works are superb paintings that exhibit an endless fascination with nature's
imperfect perfection and the magnificence it creates.
FOR MORE ON SCHOFIELD DON'T MISS OUR REVIEW OF THE  
WOODMERE MUSEUM MAJOR RETOSPECTIVE --CLICK HERE