Kenneth Stubbs
(American artist, 1907-1967)

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Kenneth Stubbs was born in 1907 in Ochlocknee, Georgia. A lifelong artist, who began molding figures from Georgia clay in his early childhood, Kenneth Stubbs was strongly influenced by the Modernists in his late teens and twenties, then particularly by Cubists such as Juan Gris and Georges Braque. He had a deep interest in the Golden Section as the ideal proportion and devoted himself to analyzing its use by the masters through the centuries and to applying it to his own compositions. His paintings focused also on conveying a sense of motion in paintings characterized by cubist representation, largely with straight lines and color.

As one art critic put it,...

"the human intelligence is everywhere at work and it is heartening to see art in which this still a factor"

As Kenneth Stubbs put it,

"...the structure of my painting is based on tradition--while the content is based on ideas. Where these two things--tradition and idea--meet in the form of my painting, they become real.....the forms are real to me. Where they also say something, so much the better. if a modern statement is the result, it is modern simply because my interests are modern.

"The fact that many of my paintings are concerned with flat or semi-flat patterns that depart more or less from the appearance of nature is simply a matter of style. This style comes from the need to have the entire painting, rather than the separate objects, express the idea. The fact that my watercolors and drawings are more nearly a reflection of nature is a matter of relaxed observation."

Biographic Notes

  • Born July 13, 1907, Ochlocknee, Georgia
  • Died October 20, 1967, Washington, D.C.


  • Corcoran School of Art. Washington, D.C.1926 to 1930
  • Webster School of Art, Provincetown, Massachusetts, June-October 1931 and 1934
  • Wicker School of Art, Detroit Michigan, June-October 1933
  • Academia della Bella Arte, Florence, Italy, January- April 1950


  • Advertising art, Detroit, Michigan 1932-1935. Included painting billboards, e.g. one for Chicken-of-the-Sea
  • Instructor/Professor, Painting and Drawing, Corcoran School of Art, Washington, D.C. 1935-1953
  • Professor of Art, George Washington University, D.C. 1941-1953
  • Free lance artist, self-employed, 1937-1942
  • United States Navy, 1942-1945
  • Films: story board artist, script writer and director of films for industry and the Federal Government, specializing in design and planning of animation films, 1945-1967

Art Career And Works

  • More than 20 one-man shows, chiefly in the Washington, D.C. and Cape Cod areas, including Acme Fine Art, Marin-Price Galleries, Franz Bader Gallery, Whyte Gallery
  • Exhibited extensively and actively in DC and Cape Cod areas, including Corcoran, Baltimore Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Provincetown Art Museum
  • Represented in numerous collections
  • Took pride in fact that his paintings and drawings were acquired by people in all walks of life
  • Murals on history of United States Army and its equipment and on children's classics
  • Illustrated Edward Lasker's 1951 book, Chess Secrets, with numerous portraits of the great chess masters

Awards and Honors

  • National and International Awards for film work
  • 1946-1947 Venice Film Festival Award
  • Memorial Endowments at Provincetown Art Association Museum, Corcoran School of Art, Fine Arts Work Center and Colquitt County Community Art Center

Organizational Memberships

  • National Honor Society
  • Boy Scouts (Star Scout -- 37 merit badges)
  • Capital City Chess Club
  • Washington Chess Divan
  • American Go Association
  • Washington Board of Trade
  • Washington Water Color Club
  • Washington Landscape Club
  • Artists Guild of Washington, Treasurer
  • Society of Washington Artists, Executive Committee, V.P.
  • Alumni Association of the Corcoran School (founder and first president)
  • The Beachcombers, Provincetown, MA
  • Provincetown Art Association, life member
  • Screenwriters Guild

Significant Miscellany

  • Married October 1948
  • Member, Provincetown Beachcombers, 1938-1967
  • Summer residence in Provincetown last decade of his life
  • Journeyman rank chess player, played in numerous tournaments
  • Early American player of Go, beginning in 1940's when he taught himself enough Japanese to read Go magazines, the only literature on the game then available
  • Prolific writer of humor and historical works and lectures on art history, theory, analysis and practice
  • Wrote and illustrated unpublished book on the naval history of the Civil War
  • Filmed Piero della Francesca's mural The Golden Legend in Arezzo, Italy