Kenneth Stubbs
(American artist, 1907-1967)

photograph of the artist
skip navigation
Art Works
Reviews & Writings
About This Website

News of Art and Artists
Society of Washington Artists' Fifty-Ninth Annual Exhibition on View in Foyer of U.S. National Museum

The fifty-ninth annual exhibition of the venerable Society of Washington Artists which opened Thursday in the foyer of the Natural History Building, United States National Museum is the smallest I have seen in some years--47 paintings and 7 sculptures, selected from over 300 entries by Hobson Pittman of Philadelphia, well known for his own romantic interior paintings, and Harry B. Rosin of New Hope, who chose the sculptures.

The exhibition is largely abstract, as one expects most shows to be, these days, and the installation impressed me as particularly good. Plenty of space between paintings permits each work to be studied without the intrusion of its neighbors.

Prize Awards

Dean Stambaugh's beautiful landscape "Walled-in Valley," which received the Evening Star prize of $100 is wholly traditional, and admirably composed with its distribution of dark and light green and brown, wild flowers in the foreground and cloudy sky carrying the interest throughout the picture. It should be a popular choice too, something that cannot be said about most prize-winners in recent years.

Leonard Maurer's "A Distant Place," which won the George F. Muth second prize for painting, $50, is a baffling choice, with its vague, lifeless forms. Also in a modern idiom is Gustav Trois' "Abstract," which received the Society's still life medal. It has well-placed dark and light tones of grayed colors.

The Society's landscape medal was bestowed on Arvid Hedin's "Angry Seas," another traditional painting in deep-toned warm brown and green, an effective presentation of a stormy night at sea. Jerry Prozzo's self-portrait fetched the Society's medal for figure or portrait painting; he depicted himself over-lifesize, simplified and very morose in expression.

Two honorable mentions in painting went to Anthony Qualia's "Sandy Point," a dark coast scene with close harmony in both tone and color; and to Robert Willis' "Mount Stone," an emphatic abstraction of the scene with angular forms heavily indicated in black, against a burning sky.

Donald Kline's alabaster "Tropical Fish," simplified naturalistic form, which was given the society's sculpture medal (first prize), is a handsome object. Quite a contrast is Maxim Elias' head in a porous dark red stone which won the second sculpture price of $50, given by Frank Jelleff; it appears to be both unfinished and broken.

The exhibition as a whole makes a good appearance, and not a few individual works have obvious merit. I particularly liked paintings by John Chapman Lewis, Mary Snow, Mimi DuBois Bolton, Alfred McAdams, Mignon Atchison, also Howard Besnia's abstract "Mountain Mists," Samuel Bookatz' tall narrow panel resembling stained glass in greens, and Kenneth Stubbs' smart, postery park scene.

Conservative paintings which stand out are Carl Nyquist's portrait of a little girl, Theodora Kane's portrait of a violinist, Doris Haskel's flowers, Elaine Hartley's wharf scene, and Celine Tabary's Paris street scene. Russell Houston is showing an excellent torso in wood, and Rowland Lyon is represented with one of his amusing streamlined wood elephants.

Florence S. Berryman, Washington Sunday Star, Sunday, February 11, 1951, page C-3