A New Face from the Past – The Paintings of Gale Stockwell

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October 27, 2013 by Admin

If you’ve followed this blog at all, you’ve probably divined that I like the past. The present has its moments, and I suppose the future will too, but for me I prefer to look backward.

It’s especially nice to find a new face, or in this case artist, from the past – someone like Gale Stockwell. I’d never seen his work until I purchased a copy of a recent paperback edition of Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio. There, on the cover, was Stockwell’s Parkville, Main Street.

A lovely, orderly, colorful little world of simple charm, the type I’d love to find but never will.

Looking for something about Stockwell, I found this:

“Gale Stockwell was a cartoonist for his high school paper, then studied at the Kansas City Art Institute. In 1933 he was hired by the Public Works of Art Project, which paid a small wage to many struggling artists during the Depression. He lost track of a lot of his work after giving it to the government and many years later was not only surprised to find one of his images on a jigsaw puzzle, but also discovered that this same painting was hanging at the White House! Stockwell worked in advertising until 1954, when he retired to devote all of his time to painting colorful images of Missouri towns and landscapes.”

Parkville is, by the way, in Missouri. Here’s what it looks like today.

There’s some more biographical info, but let’s see some more of Stockwell’s paintings instead. The first one must be Kansas City…

 

Is this the most beautiful or technically accomplished work I’ve ever seen? Of course not. Is it work of grace and quiet beauty? To me, yes, and therefore worth celebrating.


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