CHARLES HERBERT WOODBURY
American (Massachusetts & Maine) 1864-1940
Oil on Canvas
Signed and dated l.l. Woodbury 1901
Books (56) : including Vose Galleries, Charles H Woodbury and Marcia Oakes Woodbury
Periodicals: American Art Review, 1999, April; Magazine Antiques, 1998 November,
Charles Herbert Woodbury is recognized as one of the finest marine painters of the 20th century. He chose to live
and work near the water, in Ogunquit, Maine. There, in 1898, he founded the Ogunquit School, and became one of
the most influential teachers of his time, training over 4000 students – many of whom were already important painters.
He taught there until his death in 1940, and was singly responsible for the making Ogunquit a preeminent summer
art colony. He also taught at Wellesley College, Dartmouth College, and The Art Institute of Chicago.
Woodbury had over 100 solo exhibitions in his lifetime, in addition to invitational and juried shows.
Memorial exhibitions have continued, including the 1988 M.I.T. monumental Woodbury exhibition titled
Earth, Sea and Sky that traveled to museums through 1993. He is represented in many major museums
In his sea paintings, you see not only transparent liquidity of water, but the motion that he held so very important.
He told his students to paint in verbs, not nouns: "Don't just paint it, paint it doing something." This is evident in
“New England Coast With Boats". The long, smooth directional brush strokes, simply applied, give not only transparency
but rolling motion to the water, and moisture to the sand - contrasted with the lively short strokes of the colored boats,
in the grayness of a New England day.
For Other Maine Paintings:
Birth place: Lynn, MA
Death place: Jamaica Plain (Boston), MA
Addresses: Boston, MA, 1887-97/Ogunquit, ME
Profession: Marine painter, etcher, teacher, writer
Studied: Cobbett School, 1875-77; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1882-86 (an engineering major, he was largely
self-taught, but took informal watercolor class with Ross S. Turner; Académie Julian, Paris, with Boulanger and Lefebvre, 1890-91)
Exhibited: Lynn Art Exhibition, 1880 (2nd prize); Boston Arts Club, 1882, 1884 (prize), 1895 (prize); J. Eastman Chase
Gallery, Boston, 1887 (first solo; sold out show); National Academy of Design, 1887-97,1932 (prize, 1932); 1888 (solo),
1891 and 1896 (both joint exhibitions with wife Marcia); Klackner Gallery 1889 (etchings); Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Annual, 1890-1938; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1924 (gold); New Salon, Paris, 1891 (etching) Salons of the Société
Nationale des Beaux Arts, Paris, 1891; Art Institute of Chicago, 1892-1939; Paris Salon, 1894 (painting); Atlanta Expo, 1895 (gold);
Tennessee Centennial, Nashville, 1897 (prize); Mechanics' Fair, Boston (medals); Paris Expo, 1900 (med); Pan-American Expo, Buffalo,
1901 (med); Worcester Museum of Art, 1903 (prize), 1907 (prize); St. Louis Expo, 1904 (med); Carnegie Institute, 1905 (prize);
Corcoran Gallery biennials, 1907-37 (15 times; including silver medal, 1914); Buenos Aires Expo, 1910 (medal); American Watercolor
Society, 1911 (prize); W.A. Clark Prize, 1914; Pan.-Pacific Expo, San Francisco, 1915 (medals); Brooklyn, 1931 (prize); Society of
American Etchers, 1933 (prize); Vose Gallery, Boston, 1978, 1980; Charles H. Woodbury and His Students,"
Ogunquit Museum of American Art, 1998"
Member: Boston Art Club, 1884 (became the Club's youngest member at the age of 17); Society of American Artists, 1899;
Associate National Academy of Design, 1906; National Academy 1907; Boston Society Watercolor Painters; NY Watercolor Club;
Boston Gallery Art; Ogunquit Art Assn.
Work: Boston Museum of Fine Art; Addison Gallery of American Art; Art Institute of Chicago; Berkshire Athenaeum;
Boston Public Library; Carnegie Institute; St. Louis Art Museum; Corcoran Gallery of Art; Danforth Museum of Art; Detroit
Institute of Art; Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard; Gardner Museum, Boston; Herron Art Institute; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha;
Museum of Modern Art; Carnegie Institute; Rhode Island School of Design; Utah Collection; Telfair Academy, Savannah;
Worcester Museum of Art; Colby College; Ogunquit Museum American Art; Portland (ME) Museum of Art ; San Francisco
Museum of Art; Peabody Museum, Salem; Wellesley College; Adler Planetarium & Astronomical Museum, Chicago
(six paintings made in Ogunquit showing the solar eclipse of Aug. 31, 1932)
Comments: A highly influential teacher of many students, most of whom were women, who flocked to his summer classes
held at Ogunquit, Maine, from 1898-1934 (teaching hiatus during WWI). He produced his first etching in 1882, and during
his early career was an illustrator for Century and Harper's, 1888-89. He traveled extensively in Europe and made at least
eighteen trips to the Caribbean from 1901-39. He also taught classes at his Boston studio; at Worcester AA (1895); Wellesley Col.
(1899-06; 1913-14); and Pine Hill School (1907-10). In his teaching and in his own work, he was concerned with conveying
a true sense of movement, and instructed his students to paint in verbs, not in nouns" (quoted in Charles Woodbury and His Students).
His wife Marcia Oakes Woodbury was also an artist. Publications: Author, Painting and Personal Equation (1919); Co-author,
with Elizabeth W. Perkins, The Art of Seeing (1925).
Sources: WW38; Charles H. Woodbury (exh. cat., Boston: Vose Galleries, 1978). Charles H. Woodbury and
Marcia Oakes Woodbury (exh. cat., Boston: Vose Galleries, 1980); biography by George M. Young, Force Through Delicacy
(Randall Pub., Portsmouth, NH, 1998); Charles Woodbury and His Students; Falk, Exh. Record
We welcome and encourage all inquiries. We will make every attempt to answer any questions you might have.
For information, call (901) 761-1163 or (901) 827-4668 or email email@example.com
American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Discover accepted
Charles Herbert Woodbury, American (MA / Maine), New England Coast with Boats, Oil on canvas