RICHARD HAYLEY LEVER
"Art is the recreation of mood in line, form and color.
If I were confined to my own backyard for the rest of my life,
I'd still have more pictures in my mind than I would have time to paint?
Art is nothing but having a good time."
Richard Hayley Lever, Australian / American, 1876-1958
Indeed, looking at the art of Richard Hayley Lever is like playing in his mind's backyard –
that place where the whim of imagination rules and can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary,
indulging the senses and making the heart dance. We all know that singular "rush".
Hayley Lever, as he is known in the art world, was born in Adelaide, Australia, in 1876.
After early studies at the Prince Alfred Cultural Institute in Adelaide,
he used an inheritance to study in Europe, including the Académie Julian in Paris, and in London.
He settled in St. Ives in Cornwall, where his luminous works of harbor scenes gained immediate acclaim.
In 1912, at the urging of American painter Ernest Lawson, Lever moved to America, settling in New York.
He immediately fell in love with the American spirit -
incorporating it with gusto into his many canvases of street scenes, landscapes, florals, and of course, harbor scenes.
He was one of the most widely exhibited and collected painters of the day.
He received many awards, and his works were purchased by many major museums,
including the Metropolitan Museum in NYC, and The Phillips Collection, and Corcoran in Washington, D.C.
Lever worked throughout New England and maritime Canada, held a lifetime membership in the National Arts Club,
taught at the Art Student's League, and served as Director of the Studio Art Club in Mt. Vernon, NY.
He held memberships in most major American and British societies,
including the National Academy of Design and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters.
His paintings are a marriage of Impressionism and Post Impressionism,
incorporating an energetic brushwork that charges the works with movement.
The paintings are also more about the joy of paint, color, light and energy than about subject matter –
and thoroughly transport whatever subject is chosen.
His compositions are always very strong – most works injected with prominent well placed blacks,
which illuminate the hues of color, and make lights dance and dazzle almost beyond reality.
There is usually a touch of whimsy or play, even in the more serious or misty scenes.
It is said that he was deeply influenced by Van Gogh.
Yet his paintings remain distinctly "Lever" - and distinctly American.
Another Hayley Lever from the St. Ives Area :
Richard Hayley Lever, Australian / American "Devonshire River", Watercolor
Birth place: Adelaide, South Australia
Death place: Mt.
Addresses: NYC; Mt.
Alfred Club, Adelaide; Art Students League; Paris; London.
Exhibited: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Annual;, 1913-32, 1940 (medal, 1917; gold
Corcoran Gallery biennials,
1914-41 (12 times); National Arts Club 1914-15 (prizes); Pan-Pacific Expo,
1915; National Academy of
Design, 1914, 1936, 1938 (prizes); NAC, 1914-16, 1922, 1940;
Club, 1918 (prize); Sesqui-Centennial Expo, Philadelphia, 1926 (prize);
Art Academy, 1930 (prize);
New Rochelle Art Academy, 1941 (prize); Art Institute of Chicago; Society
of Independent Artists,
1920; Salons of America , 1934; Whitney Museum of American Art, 1922-46;
Newark Art Club,
1936 (prize); Westchester
Arts & Crafts, 1945 (prize); Macbeth, Rehn, Ferargil, Daniels, French & Co.,
Clayton, & other NYC
Academy of Design; American Painters & Engravers; National Arts Club;
of Fine Arts; Royal British
Artists, London; Associate National Academy, 1925; National Academician,
Royal Institute of Oil
Painters, London; Royal West of England Academy; Contemporary; New
Society Artists; Woodstock
Academy of Fine Arts; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Brooklyn Museum; Montclair
Art Museum; Boston Museum of
Art; Corcoran Gallery of Art; White House, Washington, DC; Ft.
Worth Museum of Art; Dallas
Museum of Fine Art; Los Angeles Museum of Art; Telfair Academy; Detroit
Institute of Art; Des Moines
Art Museum; Woodstock Art Association; University Nebraska; Phillips
Gallery; Duquesne Club,
Pittsburgh; National Arts Club; Adelaide (So. Australia) Art Museum; Sydney
(Australia) Art Museum;
Whitney Museum of American Art; Syracuse Museum FA; Antioch College; City
of St. Louis; Memphis Art
Museum; Springville (Utah) Art Academy; Perth Amboy (NJ) Public Library;
Little Rock Art Museum; Salt
Lake City University Museum; Lincoln (NE) University
Comments: Best known
as a Post-Impressionist of marine scenes, he was active in St. Ives,
England, beginning c.1895.
In 1911, Ernest Lawson
persuaded him to emigrate to the U.S. After the Depression forced him to
give up his
home in Caldwell, NJ, he
became director of the Studio Art Club, in Mt. Vernon, NY. He spent his
Gloucester, MA, for twenty
years. In addition to Caldwell, NJ, he painted in Manasquan (NJ), Woodstock
Nantucket, Vermont, and
Monhegan Island (ME). In later years his palette became more vibrant.
Signature note: His
signature was typically bold and slashing during the 1910s-20s, while his
later signatures have fewer flourishes.
WW47; Curtis, Curtis, and Lieberman, 32, 184; Woodstock AA; Falk, Exh.
This biography is
drawn from “Who Was Who in American Art” , the reference book on the
cultural life in the United States.
Selection of Museums include:
of American Art
Art Gallery of
Butler Institute of American Art
Cheekwood Museum of Art & Botanical Garden
Colby College Museum of Art
Corcoran Gallery of Art
Everson Museum Of Art
Flint Museum of Art
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, MH De Young
High Museum of Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Museum of Art at Brigham Young University
Museum of the City of New York
Neuberger Museum of Art
New Jersey State Museum
Norton Museum of Art
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery
Spencer Museum of Art
Telfair Museum of Art
The Baltimore Museum of Art
The Brooklyn Museum of Art
The Corcoran Gallery of Art
The Detroit Institute of Arts
The Hudson River Museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Montclair Art Museum
The Phillips Collection
Yale University Art Gallery
Books: (64) including
Gallery, Fine American Art from 1845 to 1960
Gallery, Art for the New Collector II, Re-Emerging American Artists
Lowrey, Carol, Hayley
Gallery, Art for the New Collector 1840-2001
Raymond J, The Art Students League of New York - A History (Teachers)
Caldwell, Joseph S III & IV, Select Works: Fine American and European
Galleries, Vose Art Notes - Art Collecting in America/A Timeline
Walter (others) American Images/The SBC Collection of 20th Century American
Jane/Will, F Lieberman, Monhegan - The Artists' Island
Museum of Art, American Paintings at the High Museum of Art
Nancy, The American Paintings (in the) Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art
Norman/Karen Janovy, The American Painting Collection - The Sheldon Memorial
Robert/Sandra Langer, Impressionism & Post-Impressionism - Transformations
Galleries, American Impressionist Paintings (Taylor Gallery exhibition,
Galleries, Insights and Outlooks - American 20th Century Watercolors &
Museum, American Watercolors, Pastels, Collages/ Brooklyn Museum
Roque, Oswaldo, Directions in American Painting1875-1925
Sternberg, Galleries, The American Perspective
Museum, American Paintings/Brooklyn
Art Museum, The American Painting Collection of the Montclair Art Museum
Bruce W, American Paintings in the High Museum of Art/Bicentenial Catalogue
Lanier, Three Centuries...American Painting M H deYoung and Palace of Legion
Galleries, American Art Selections - Turn of the Century
Museum of Art, American Painting from 1830
Eugene, The History and Ideals of American Art
Lorinda Munson, American Pictures & their Painters
Click Below For
FORD CREECH 'FINE ART PAGE'