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William Woodward

William Woodward: American Impressionist

George Schmidt
Richard Gruber
Jessie Poesch
Judith Bonner
Ray Bellande
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    William Woodward
    Book Description:

    William Woodward (1859-1939) was a force in New Orleans and the art world, and his legacy endures. In this first compilation of examples of Woodward's work spanning his career, essayists offer unique perspectives on the artist and his art.

    Woodward was a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and the Massachusetts Normal Art School. He started the School of Art and organized the Department of Architecture at Tulane University, and he taught evening art classes to citizens of New Orleans. His oil crayon paintings of the French Quarter were instrumental in preserving the French Quarter buildings from destruction, and he was a leader in the Arts and Crafts movement in New Orleans. He was a member of the American Institute of Architects. Woodward also organized the Art Association of New Orleans and the Decorative Art League for Women, which founded the manufacture of art pottery in New Orleans.

    Woodward was a prolific artist and pioneered new techniques with his use of the Rafaelli oil crayon and the fiberloid dry etching process. Upon his retirement from Tulane in 1922, Woodward moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, where his paintings of the Mississippi Gulf Coast provide a historical record of an area now almost entirely changed by development and natural disasters. Woodward also traveled extensively and chronicled his travels in his art.

    eISBN: 978-1-62103-887-0
    Subjects: Art & Art History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-5)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 7-7)
    Robert Hinckley

    William Woodward had a dynamic, profound, and lasting impact on Southern art and the New Orleans art community. The articles that follow–written by George Schmidt, Judith Bonner, Richard Gruber, Jessie Poesch, and Ray Bellande, prominent and knowledgeable experts in their respective areas–attest to the many contributions William Woodward made to the arts and to the communities in which he lived. Woodward was an extraordinarily influential force in Southern Impressionism, the New Orleans Arts and Crafts movement and Newcomb Art School, and the French Quarter preservation movement. His paintings also document scenes of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where he...

  4. Biography
    (pp. 8-11)

    William Woodward was born May 1, 1859, in the little town of Seekonk, Massachusetts, and passed a pleasant childhood under the strong inspiration of the wholesome country life of New England. His attendance at the district school was directed by his mother, who had been a successful school teacher, and who continued one of the supports of the local circulating library. Good books were always at hand, and also, as perhaps the first awakening of instinct toward the practice of the graphic arts, were the sketches and admirable crayon portraits of his mother’s youngest brother, George Carpenter, who died in...

  5. Preface
    (pp. 13-15)
    George Schmidt
  6. William Woodward, New Orleans, and the Art of the South
    (pp. 17-37)
    J. Richard Gruber

    William Woodward moved from New England to New Orleans in 1884 to build an art department at Tulane University after being recruited in Boston by the university’s first president, William Preston Johnson. At the time of his hiring, Woodward was completing studies at the Massachusetts Normal Art School in Boston (founded in 1873), after he had attended the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence (opened 1877). Woodward associated himself with two of America’s most advanced and prestigious art schools, both aligned with the philosophies of the American Arts and Crafts movement, an influence that was fundamental to the foundation...

  7. William Woodward: Training that Shaped His Career as Teacher, Artist, and Advocate of the Arts
    (pp. 39-65)
    Jessie Poesch

    William Woodward (1859-1939) was one of several new faculty members recruited after the establishment of Tulane University in New Orleans in 1884. A gift from philanthropist Paul Tulane made it possible for the new university to be created from what had been the University of Louisiana, a men’s institution with faculties in Medicine, Law, and Liberal Arts. The president, William Preston Johnston, took advantage of the opportunity to expand the program and curriculum of the newly established private university.

    Woodward would spend his entire teaching career at Tulane. After his retirement in 1923, he was elected Emeritus Professor of Drawing...

  8. William Woodward: Muse to the Preservation Movement in the Vieux Carré
    (pp. 67-145)
    Judith H. Bonner

    William Woodward arrived in New Orleans in 1884 as the city was beginning to emerge from the quiescent period immediately following Reconstruction. Essentially a New England farm boy accustomed to open spaces with farmhouses, barns, and outbuildings, Woodward saw the Vieux Carré as a compact multi-cultural community with residences alongside churches, markets, hardware stores, and other mercantile establishments. He became enchanted with the quaint old quarter and its European-inspired architecture. He perceived the importance of the crumbling architecture in the impoverished area, with its dilapidated buildings sandwiched between well-maintained residences of the city’s old families. An academician, architect, and preservationist,...

  9. Coasting: The Retirement Years of William and Louise G. Woodward at Biloxi, Mississippi
    (pp. 147-195)
    Ray L. Bellande

    The Mississippi Gulf Coast had seduced William Woodward (1859-1939) and Louise Amelia Giesen (1862-1937), his spouse, as an artistic and holiday destination as early as 1891. They spent the summer of 1891 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Here the Woodwards drew and painted the local scenery. A native son of Seekonk, Massachusetts, William was enraptured by the warmth and tropical beauty of the landscape with its live oaks and brilliant blooms of azalea; by the Gulf with its colorful assortment of sailing, fishing, and shrimp boats; and the local sights, such as the Episcopal Church in Pass Christian to Popp’s Ferry,...

  10. Autobiography
    (pp. 196-201)

    William Woodward – born May 1st 1859 in Seekonk, Mass: graduate of R.I. School of Design where he acted as instructor in drawing, and the Mass. Normal Art School, Boston. Pupil of Boulanger and Lefebvre, Paris France.

    Organized the dept. of drawing the first year of the Tulane University of Louisiana 1884 including the Tulane High School, about 200 pupils; and the Free Drawing Classes at Lafayette and Dryades Sts 1885-1894, held four evenings each week for men, two evenings for women and Saturday mornings for public school teachers who attended almost as a body, making about 800 free pupils for...

    (pp. 202-206)
  12. Acknowledgements
    (pp. 207-207)