Reynolds Beal (1866-1951)

Reynolds Beal (October 11, 1866 – December 18, 1951) was an American Impressionist and Modernist artist.

Beal spent 1901 at sea, and worked up his sketchbook entitled Cruising Aboard U.S.S. School Ship St. Mary's (1901). He kept scrapbook pages of marine etchings and photographs, old Christmas cards, personal photographs, exhibition catalogs, and clippings.

From 1900 to 1907, he painted almost exclusively at the artist's community in Noank, Connecticut with Henry Ward Ranger. After 1912, Beal focused more on the Hudson Valley, where he painted the colorful and whimsical scenes of the traveling circuses that came through the region. His most prolific artistic period falls between the years 1910-1920.

Beal painted the beaches in Provincetown, Key West, Rockport, Atlantic City and Wellfleet, circus scenes and carnivals. He used a variety of styles including Impressionism and Tonalism. As he got older, his work became more complex and vibrant. In addition to oils, he was admired as a watercolorist, and he and Gifford made Rockport, Massachusetts their home. At one time, he resided in Gloucester, Massachusetts, as well. His studio overlooked Rockport's Inner Harbor, from where he drew and etched many harbor scenes.

Beal traveled widely. In November 1944, Reynolds and Gifford had a large joint exhibition at the Fitchburg Art Center (now Museum) in Fitchburg, MA, which included eighty-three oils, watercolors, and etchings that had been executed all over the world with subjects including Singapore, Trinidad, Samoa, China, Nassau, Egypt, Haiti, Cape Ann, Atlantic City, and Provincetown.

Beal was active in the art community. By 1934, he was a participant in the Salmagundi Club, Lotus Club, Century Club, National Academy of Design and the American Water Color Society. He was also a member of the Society of American Engravers and the National Arts Council. His progressive tenets marked him as a "modernist", and he helped found the Society of Independent Artists and the New Society of Artists, which consisted of fifty of the most important painters of the day, including George Bellows, Childe Hassam, John Sloan, William Glackens and Maurice Prendergast.

Illness prevented Beal from painting in oil as spontaneously as he would have liked, and by 1940 he almost stopped painting. Reynolds Beal died in Rockport, Massachusetts, in 1951.


Oyster Bay Sloop lithograph 8.75 x 11.75