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Beal, Reynolds

(1867-1951) Reynolds Beal came from an affluent and artistic family; of several artistically gifted sons, he and his brother Gifford made careers in art. Beal was born in the Bronx and studied marine engineering at Cornell. He studied art at the Art Students League with John Twatchtman. In 1892 he left the League to study with William Merritt Chase at the Shinnecock School. For many years Beal was torn between careers in art and ship designing, but his family’s affluence allowed him to maintain a lifestyle as both an artist and a yachtsman. He spent years between marine-related jobs and a life as an artist, often plagued by “nervous prostration.” In 1891 Beal received his only professional commission, illustrations for a book of nautical poems, for which he produced over seventy monochromatic watercolors rendered in gray or sepia. Beal established a second studio at Henry Ward Ranger’s art colony in Noank, Connecticut from 1900 to 1907. Ranger, who had been active in the Old Lyme Colony, was one of the major influences on Beal’s career, along with Chase. After 1912 Beal spent more time in the Hudson River Valley, painting the itinerant circuses that traveled through the area, and those whimsical watercolor sketches remain some of his most popular works. He also worked in Province-town, Bermuda, the Caribbean, , Central America, Europe, and on the West Coast. He traveled and painted with Childe Hassam, William Glackens, and H. Dudley Murphy. With Bellows, Glackens, Hassam, Prendergast and Sloan he founded the Society of Independent Artists and the New Society of Artists. For many years he worked in Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts. He was most active from 1910 to 1920, exhibiting at many museums and galleries. After 1940 he did little painting due to illness. He died in Rockport, Massachusetts in 1951, and today is considered both an Impressionist and a modernist painter.

Title: Leaving Newport, Saturday July 22, 1899
Medium: pencil study on paper, initialed upper center, 10" x 16"

Title: Newport Harbor July 7, 1899: North End, Goat Island 5 pm
Medium: pencil study on paper, initialed upper left, 10" x 16"