William Lester Stevens
Oil on Masonite
Permanent Collection 2006.1.52
W. Lester Stevens (06/16/1888-1969) was born in Rockport, Massachusetts. He began taking art lessons under Parker Perkins, a well-known Rockport painter. When he was eighteen he had one of his paintings accepted for a show at the National Academy of Design. He received a scholarship to the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston in 1909. In 1917 he began serving in the Army during the war and continued to sketch and paint. He impressed his commanders so much that they arranged for his tour of Europe to be extended so he could study the masters. When he returned to the United States, he received an invitation from John Pepper for a one-man show. Stevens had a reputation for "earning more honors for work than any other living artist in the Northeast." In 1921, after Stevens returned to Rockport, he and fifty other artists, including Aldro Hibbard, and Emile Gruppe, formed the Rockport Art Association. He taught art courses at Boston University and, during the summer, in Rockport. Later he taught at Princeton University. He died in 1969. Stevens had been a WPA muralist, painting murals in the United States Post Offices in Dedham and Rockport, Massachusetts.
Research provided by the Asheville Art Museum.