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Joseph Ryan Woodwell (American 1843 – 1911)Pittsburgh Landscape

Oil on canvas, 11.63.38 x 19.63 inches/Signed lower left

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Joseph Ryan Woodwell (American 1843 – 1911)

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  • Available for purchase
  • Professionally conserved and framed
  • Competitively priced
  • Custom framing available

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  • Available for purchase
  • Professionally conserved and framed
  • Competitively priced
  • Custom framing available

Joseph Woodwell was born in Pittsburgh, the son of woodcarver and hardware business owner Joseph W. Woodwell [d. 1899]. A rarity for the times, he was encouraged to study art—his first training was with Pittsburgh artist George Hetzel, then David Gilmour Blythe, who coincidently had apprenticed with Woodwell’s father. From 1859 to 1865 he was enrolled in Académie Julian in Paris, France and studied at Barbizon . When he returned to Pittsburgh, he ran the family business, Joseph Woodwell Company, while pursuing his painting career. A good businessman and skilled artist, Woodwell soon became a leader among Pittsburgh’s artists and business leaders. He, at various times, served as director of the Iron City National Bank, the Bank of Pittsburgh, and the City Deposit Bank, but his true calling was art. In 1888, Woodwell purchased a summer cottage at Magnolia, Massachusetts, where William Morris Hunt had attracted an art colony. About this time, his somewhat dark, somber Barbizon palette lightened and his brush strokes became looser as he began painting scenes of the Massachusetts coast, although he never completely abandoned the Barbizon style. Woodwell traveled across the United States to paint scenes of the Yosemite Valley, the California redwoods, Florida swamps, Niagara Falls and especially the picturesque area around Scalp Level, near Johnstown, PA, where his teacher, George Hetzel, the leader of the Scalp Level School, took a group of Pittsburgh artists every summer for many years. Woodwell was one of the original Carnegie International Trustees and was appointed by Andrew Carnegie to acquire artworks for the Carnegie Museum of Art. Philadelphia artist, Thomas Eakins, painted a portrait of Woodwell in 1904, honoring him for his work with the Carnegie Internationals. He exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1861-1910); Centennial Exposition (Philadelphia, PA, 1876); National Academy of Design (NYC, 1879 and 1880); World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago, 1893); and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis, 1904).

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