Edward Wilbur Dean Hamilton (1862-1943), American
Harbor View, probably Gloucester, Massachusetts
undated, first quarter of 20th century
conte crayon and pastel on textured board, 10 in. x 14 in.
(framed dimensions: 15 ½ in. x 19 ¾ in.)
signed (twice) lower right: “E Wilbur D Hamilton”
A subtle pastel work by the American Impressionist Wilbur Dean Hamilton. On display is the artist’s skillful draftsmanship, sense of composition and use of light and shade. With a conte crayon or piece of charcoal he has given us a sense of the place – the wharf, the buildings, the church steeple and the dories in the foreground. Using the neutral color of the board, with the addition of just a few pastel colors - greens, white, blues, ochers – he breathes dimension and life into the scene. I believe the location to be Gloucester, Massachusetts, with the church at upper left being the Unitarian Universalist Church. The building to the right with its gable end facing the viewer may be the current location of Maritime Gloucester, a multi-building waterfront attraction. It may be that this was a compositional study for a larger work in oil. The artist’s signature indicates he considered it a finished work in its own right.
Born in Pennsylvania, Hamilton came to Boston to study painting at the Massachusetts Normal Art School in 1879. About 1883 he continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design with Tomasso Juglaris and William-Adolphe Bouguereau. In 1889 the artist traveled to Paris and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts with Jules Eli Delaunay. He exhibited both landscapes and portraits in the Paris Salons of 1890, 1891 and 1892. Hamilton returned to Boston in 1892 where he established a studio.
Hamilton taught at the Massachusetts Normal Art School from 1892 until his retirement in 1942. He was also listed in 1905 (American Art Annual) as being a sketch class instructor in Gloucester. Hamilton exhibited paintings of Gloucester such as in 1902 at the Worcester Art Museum’s Summer Exhibition where he exhibited a painting, #108, “Gloucester”.
Wilbur Hamilton’s pastels come up for sale rarely, but in his lifetime they were well-regarded. At an exhibition of 300 watercolors and more than 50 pastels at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1895, The Critic magazine noted that “The men who stand out most conspicuously from the mass are Edwin A. Abbey, F.H. Lungren, Childe Hassam and Edward Wilbur Dean Hamilton … Hamilton is almost a new name, but it is one that will be remembered. His two pastels are singularly lovely in subject and treatment..”. Multiple critics of the time referred to paintings by Hamilton as “poems”.
Hamilton and his wife Lilian spent 11 summers on the island resort of Campobello, New Brunswick, which gave him subjects for many of his paintings, including the American Impressionist gem “Summer at Campobello, New Brunswick” in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
The artist bought an 18th century house in Kingston, Massachusetts in the 1920s where he started a summer school known as the Jones River Art School. Hamilton died in Kingston in 1943.
Wilbur Hamilton exhibited widely and frequently including at the Boston Art Club, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Corcoran Gallery, the Worcester Art Museum, the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago (1893) and the Panama Pacific Expo in San Francisco 1915 (medal). He was a member of Boston’s Copley Society and St. Botolph Club.
*Added note: I noticed after listing that it looks in photos as if there is a darker vertical strip of toning on left side of the pastel. This is not the case; it is a slight cast shadow. I've added one more photo to show this.
The pastel is in very good condition with the exception of expected toning of the support. Also, there are several tack holes along the perimeter which are unobtrusive. The pastel is under glass housed in a nice molded and gilt wood Arts and Crafts style frame in very good condition with minor nicks and scratches. There is an inscription on the reverse which looks to me like it says “1 pr Harbor” but I don’t know for sure.
If you were the pending buyer of this item, go to My Account to view, track and check payment for this item.
Edward Wilbur Dean Hamilton, pastel on board of Harbor View, early 20th century
|Est. Sales Tax:||Item is not available|