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Charles Herbert Woodbury

Charles Herbert Woodbury


Personal Details:


Charles Herbert Woodbury

Place of birth

Lynn, Massachusetts.

Date of Birth

July 14, 1864

Date of Death

January 21, 1940






Marine Painter


Boston Art Club

Wife Name

Marcia Oakes



Early Days Of Charles Herbert Woodbury:

His Full name is Charles Herbert Woodbury. Woodbury was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, where his earliest work was part of the oeuvre of the collection later known as the Lynn Beach Painters. While an undergraduate at MIT he became a regular exhibitor at, and at 19 the youngest part of, the Boston Art Club . After graduation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (with degree in Mechanical Engineering), in 1886 Woodbury had great achievement painting up the New England coast and in the towns and beaches of Nova Scotia and exhibiting the outcome. In 1890 Woodbury married one of his students, Marcia Oakes, and jointly they went to Europe where Woodbury studied at the Academic Julian.

Charles Herbert Woodbury Carriers:

Woodbury educated at Wellesley College, and maintained a studio at Grundmann Studios. In addition to the Art Club, he was a part of the Copley Society, the Boston Water Color Club, the Boston Society of Water Color Painters, the Guild of Boston Artists, the Society of American Artists, and in 1907 was selected full member of the National Academy of Design. With good friend Hermann Dudley Murphy he made several trips to Jamaica and St. Thomas. In 1922 his book, watching: Visual Training through Drawing was published. Through the 1920s and 30s he made repeated trips to islands in the Carribbean. Woodbury has the division of being one of the youngest exhibitors of the Boston Art Club, having exhibited a painting in the opening exhibition of the new club house in 1882, at the age of 15. He continued to exhibit watercolors and oils there in anticipation of 1915. He maintained a strong and reliable vision in his more than fifty years of professional life and became a master of compositions of the coast and sea.

Woodbury’s many on-the-spot sketches and etchings construct a sense of motion through quick, sure-handed strokes. Seeing and understanding movement was fundamental to his art and teaching, and is reflected in his own maxim: “Paint in verbs, not nouns.” In the words of his son David, Woodbury " painted what he saw, pleased that what he saw was really there, all in proper relationship, checked and rechecked by endless reference to the real world".In his later years he exhausted his winters in the Caribbean sailing from island to island painting watercolor studies of the beaches and town backed by dramatic mountains and clouds. Over a large part of his career he made some of the most expressive etchings of any American artist of his time, finishing more than 500 plates and teaching many younger artists to express themselves in this medium. He died on January 21, 1940 in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.


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