(North Carolina, 1915-1997)
Conch Shell, 1945, signed upper right "Claude Howell", oil on fiber board, 11 x 23; gilt wood frame,. Condition: grime, flaking middle, crackle. Notes: This lot is accompanied by a copy of a signed letter from Claude Howell dated, listing the title and exhibition history.
A native of Wilmington, NC, Claude Howell's artistic career spanned seven decades and culminated in international recognition of his place not only as an interpreter of the people and landscape of coastal North Carolina, but as an important contributor to 20th century American art. He began his art studies under Elisabeth Chant in Wilmington, NC but with the great Depression he took a job as a stenographer with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and stayed for over 20 years. His summers were spent in study at the most recognizable art school of Maine, Massachusettes and New York. He traveled to Paris with friend and fellow painter Robert Gwathmey. While he absorbed national and international trends, his real focus was the fishing boats and beach culture of his home town. As Wilmington grew and changed, his work reflected the shift from small town to affluent vacation destination. Howell is remembered as a prolific creator, as an educator, having founded and directed the art program at UNC-Wilmington and the first "Tarheel" to show his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Exhibited: 1946, Sorosis Clubhouse, Wilmington, North Carolina; 1948 One Man Show, Gutman Galleries, Charlotte, North Carolina; Ocean Terrace Hotel, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, Two Man Show, Person Hall Gallery, Unc-Chapel Hill, North Carolina,; 1949, The Book Shop, Wilmington, North Carolina; 1952, Perry James, Wilmington, North Carolina; 1972, St. John's Art Gallery, Wilmington, North Carolina. Provenance: Purchased from the artist (Howell # 1168) by Mrs. Robert S. (Caroline) Milner, Wilmington, North Carolina, former Director of St. John's Art Gallery and friend of the artist; By descent in family