Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Boston School

William Paxton William MacGregor Paxton (American painter, 1869-1941)
 The Album 1920

This blog is created to promote The Boston School style of painting and become a site in which a number of blog authors to this site---artists painting and learning this style, or nearly this style--- can promote their own art.  I hope in future posts that not only I but a choice number of blog authors will put down their brushes for a few minutes now and then and will contribute to this blog in order to promote information and images about this historic American realism art style and also display examples their own artwork. Should these contributing artists wish to sell some of their works on this site, they must inset their own pay pal buttons and eBay links in their posts as they create them, I will not assist directly in any sale. The individual artist posting will handle and be responsible for any sale and delivery of any artwork he presents for sale at this site, using the information provided him by the purchaser, or his ebay or paypal service.  I hope each post can be informative concerning the Boston School style, offer images and discussion of paintings by its popular masters of the past and promote and even help to sell the artwork of those currently learning and painting in the Boston School style. Blog posts can be as long or short as the artist choses. It can be informative about this style, or just an update on his or her current artwork with a link to their website or to a pay option for selling their art.

Song of Lamentation
 by Robert Hale Ives Gammell (1893 – 1981)
 In this first post of this blog I will try to present a definition of the style of art called the "Boston School" of painting.   "The "Boston School" sought to combine the truth of impressionist color with good draughtsmanship, sound composition and skillful paint handling. Its leading exponents included Edmund Tarbell, Frank Benson, William Paxton, Joseph Decamp, Philip Hale and Leslie Thompsom. R.H. Ives Gammell (with whom Ingbretson studied) was a turn-of-the-century Boston Museum School pupil of the first three men and later consulted extensively with Paxton who was himself a product of the French Beaux Arts training (from Paul Ingbretson's web site ( )."

From the Friends of Fenway Studios ( ), we learn that, "Historically, the Fenway Studios building is closely associated with the Boston School of painting. It came to be built because early in the 1900s, many of Boston's best-known artists lost their studios and life's works in a disastrous fire at the Harcourt Studios on Irvington Street in Boston, and many barely escaped with their lives. Fenway Studios was designed so that every one of the 46 studios would have north-facing windows, 12 feet high. The interior plan, with 14-foot high ceilings, was inspired by the 19th century atelier studios in Paris, where many of the original artists had studied. The building, of classic Arts & Crafts design with clinker brick exterior, is located on Ipswich Street in the Back Bay."

 The Guild of Boston Artists (  ) is closely associated with the Boston School style of painting. On their webiste, they write,  "[The Guild was] Established in 1914 by the prominent painters of the day, including Edmund Tarbell, William Paxton and Frank Benson, the Guild of Boston Artists was created to be an artist owned and operated gallery. With the mission of promoting both emerging and established artists living in the region, the Guild developed a reputation for excellence in quality and presentation."

 The Boston School style of painting has a very abbreviated listing on wikipedia (
"The Boston School is both a historic group of painters and an ongoing tradition of painting centered around the city of Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Beginning with artists such as Edmund C. Tarbell and William Paxton, a combination of detail, full-range vibrant color, and painting outdoors characterizes this style. Moving beyond French and American Impressionism, this style seeks to evoke more than a sensation of color, action scene from modern life, or fleeting effect of weather condition and time of day. A sense of space is created in these works using color realism mixed with traditional oil paint handling and technique."

Joseph DeCamp (1858-1923) The Blue Cup 1909
This is all the posting this busy artist had time for today, hope more posts will follow! -Sandra Galda


  1. Very nice. Looking forward to seeing this develop. A group of very much underrated, under talked about painters.

  2. Nice, Sandra! I am just finishing up a series on my blog about the Boston Painters - although it will probably never be quite complete. Looking forward to your posts!