Charles Woodbury

American , 1864 - 1940

Born in 1864 in Lynn, Massachusetts, Charles Herbert Woodbury was a successful painter, draftsman and etcher. He was the author of three art education books and he did numerous illustrations for books and magazines. He also designed WWI posters and traveled extensively conducting art classes, lecturing on art education and judging exhibitions.

Woodbury began sketching at the age of six and by the time he was seventeen, he had won a painting award from the Boston Art Club. He also became that club’s youngest member. In 1882, Woodbury entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and despite a heavy academic workload, he painted throughout his college years. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from M.I.T. in 1886. One year later, he had a sold-out solo exhibition consisting of thirty paintings at Boston’s T. Eastman Chase Gallery.

Woodbury established a studio on School Street in Boston in 1887. In 1895, he taught at the Worcester Art Association and the following year he opened his own school in Annisquam, Massachusetts. He occasionally attended classes at the Boston Art Club, but his first formal training began in 1890 at the Academie Julian.

Woodbury produced his first etching in 1882 and he worked as an illustrator for “Century” and “Harper’s” in the early years of his career. In 1907, he was elected a full member of the National Academy of Design and he was awarded the gold medal at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915. Woodbury traveled throughout Europe and visited the Caribbean on eighteen separate occasions between 1901 and 1939. Charles Woodbury died in 1940.


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