Charles C. Allen (1886-1950)

Charles C. Allen (1886-1950)

“Here was one who found nature compellingly paintable, and he was not ashamed to paint her in terms most people can understand. His art was never static or merely reproductive. He experimented, changed and grew throughout his lifetime, and one does not weary of much looking at his pictures.” [1]

                                                                                      -- S. Morton Vose

[1] Memorial Exhibition of Oils and Water Colors by Charles Curtis Allen A.N.A. 1886-1950, Vose Galleries, Boston, exhibition catalogue, April 30 – May 19, 1951

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Born in Leominster, Massachusetts, Charles Curtis Allen graduated from the Worcester Art Museum in 1916, where he was a pupil of Philip Leslie Hale and Hermann Dudley Murphy, and also studied privately with watercolorist Henry W. Rice. Allen became an influential teacher during his lifetime, an activity that began while still a student himself and which continued with lessons held in his Waban, Massachusetts, studio. He also led classes while spending summers at Moody Farm on Mt. Monadnock and during outings to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, in addition to trips throughout Vermont and along the Maine coast. 

Allen exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Boston Art Club in 1931 and the Corcoran Gallery in 1943, and participated in the annual shows of the Boston Society of Water Color Painters held at Vose Galleries in the 1930s and 1940s. He also belonged to the Guild of Boston Artists, the Gloucester Society of Artists, the Salmagundi Club and the Rockport and North Shore Arts Associations, and showed with “The Six,” an exhibition group that included John Whorf, Aiden Lassell Ripley, John Lavalle, Harry Sutton, Jr., and Stanley Woodward. In 1930 he was awarded a medal at the Boston Tercentenary Exhibition, and two years later was made an Associate member of the National Academy, for which Robert C. Vose sent him a personal note of congratulations. When Allen passed away in 1950, the gallery sponsored a memorial exhibition held at the Fitchburg Art Museum in January of 1951, followed by our own show honoring his legacy in the spring of that year. In 1973, Vose again hosted a solo exhibition of Allen’s landscapes from his estate, welcoming “the return of an old friend.”[1]

Reference: See Who Was Who In American Art (1999); Landscapes in Oil by Charles Curtis Allen 1886-1950, Vose Galleries, Boston, exhibition catalogue, May 7 – June 1, 1973.

[1] Landscapes in Oil by Charles Curtis Allen 1886-1950, Vose Galleries, Boston, exhibition catalogue, May 7 – June 1, 1973.

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