Caleb Arnold Slade   Click Images to Enlarge
The Active Sea,
Oil on canvas
41 x 36 in.
A Venetian Canal
Oil on canvas
28 x 20 inches
Oil on canvas
24 x 26 inches
Venice Grand Canal
Oil on canvas
20 x 24 inches
Caleb Arnold Slade's paintings hang alongside those of John Singer Sargent at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and, to many people, his Venice paintings and Arab scenes are Sargentesque because each embodies beautifully orchestrated, fluent brushwork and an artistic design. Like Sargent, Slade is known for his scenes in and around New England and Venice, Italy, France and Arabia and his impressionistic brushwork is confident and accurate.
Slade was born in Acushnet, MA in 1882 and maintained a studio in Truro, MA near Edward Hopper. He graduated from Brown University in 1904 and then studied art at the Art Students League with F.V. Dumond, Louis Loab and others. During this period he became an illustrator to earn enough money to travel and study in France. He went to Paris in 1905 and studied at the Academie Julian with Jean Paul Laurens, Schommer and Bachet (1907).
By 1905, Slade had established a cosmopolitan studio on Paris's Left Bank and diligently studied painting, entertained American and Parisian students and studied the human anatomy and nature. He sketched in Moret, Bashet, Brittany, Holland and Venice and was considered a consummate Impressionist by the French. In November 1908 a critic for The New York Herald observed that Slade “…succeeds in the rendering of the pale blues and greens familiar to Paris and its rivers." Philip Leslie Hale wrote on November 16, 1919 in The Boston Transcript, "One hears a good deal of the influence of Matisse on the younger American artists in Paris, but there is no hint of this in Mr. Slade's work. Rather, the things are done straight from the shoulder—very directly painted, in short, and with no particular mannerism."
On November 13, 1909 a critic for The Boston Monitor stated that Slade's work "is frank and fearless…full of jolly color…enthusiasm and confidence…."
In March 1912, Slade's popularity was obvious when his one-man exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Club sold-out in a day. In that year, The Boston Traveler's critic reported (March 15) that Slade's canvases "have stamped him as a painter who possesses the deepest imagination united with the keenest of understanding and mastery." By 1920, Slade was renown for his marines, figural works, portraits and landscapes executed on location in Italy, France and America. He was well recognized for his canvases that showed World War I soldiers returning and leaving for battle in France and some of it was reproduced in The Literary Digest, Women's Home Companion and numerous newspapers.
Slade became a member of the Philadelphia Art Club; Paris Art Association; Allied Artists of London; the Paris Art Club, Les Artists Independent (Paris), Grand Rapids Art Club, MI; Springfield Illinois Art Club; New Bedford Art Association and the Philadelphia Sketch Club. Because he lived many years abroad his focus was on painting not joining clubs or following any one school of thought, and he enjoyed painting harbors, street scenes and landscapes.
During World War I, Slade maintained a studio in France, where painters like Chauncey F. Ryder and others stayed and painted. In 1918, he was sent to Chateau sur Seine under secret order to study and construct camouflage materials and paint designs for the U.S. troops, and by the end of the war he was commissioned to paint portraits of V.P. Dawes, Senator Borah, Admiral Moffatt, General Frank T. Hines and other dignitaries. After the war he returned to Tunis to paint a series which was published in Scribner's in 1921. He became a proficient portrait painter, but preferred painting landscapes with figures and at the end of his life he painted biblical and religious subjects.
The artist was given solo exhibitions at the Providence Art Club (1909-1910), Philadelphia Art Club (1912), Grand Rapids AA (1914), Springfield AA (1914, 1915), Swain School of Design (New Bedford, MA 1915), Philadelphia Art Club (1912, 1915, 1917) and more. Slade's work is represented in the permanent collections at the Gardener Museum (Boston); Springfield Art Club; Attleboro Public Library; Free Public Library; the Paris Salon, Liverpool's Walker Gallery, London's Royal Albert Hall, Milwaukee Art Museum; Bethany Church, Philadelphia (mural); Paramount Theater, NYC (mural); John Wanamaker & Elkins Collections, Philadelphia, University of Connecticut (Storrs) Art Museum and elsewhere.
Caleb Arnold Slade died in 1961 in Truro, Massachusetts at the age of 79
One-man Exhibitions include:
Providence Art Club (12/28/09-1/9/09) and (1910)
Art Club of Edward's Place, Springfield, IL (2/14-3/11/14)
Grand Rapids Art Association, MI (1/19-2/7/14)
Philadelphia Art Club (10/15-10/31/12), (10/2/-10/16/15) and (10/1-10/14/17) Springfield Art Association, ILL (1914, 1915)
Swain School of Design, New Bedford, MA (1915)
American Art Annuals (American Federation of Art): vol. 8, p. 233; vol. 11, p. 168; vol. 13, p. 102, 141, 244, 276; vol. 14, p. 210;
Blackington, Alton Hall, "Yankee Yarns…The 'Church' Studio," published by Howard Johnson's and WNAC WEAN, Cape Cod, n.d.
Blasdale, Artists of New Bedford, pp. 170-171;
Boston Monitor, "The Canvasses of C. Arnold Slade," Nov.13, 1909; -"Caleb Arnold Slade," Nov. 16, 1912
Boston Sunday Herald, (obit.), "Caleb A. Slade, Noted Artist: Painted Biblical Subjects," December 17, 1961, p. 58 --"C. Arnold Slade," Nov. 21, 1909
Boston Traveler, "C.A. Slade," March 15, 1912
Evening Telegram, Philadelphia, Feb. 19, 1912; Hale, Philip Leslie, article on Slade,
The Boston Transcript, Nov. 16, 1909
Lester, William R., article on Slade, North American, Philadelphia, Feb. 18, 1912
The London Gallery, exhibition catalogue foreword, Boston, March 14, 1912 New York Herald, Paris Edition, Sunday, Nov. 22, 1908
North American, Philadelphia, Mar. 1, 1912 (article on Slade's Art Club exhibition)
Press, The, article on Slade, Philadelphia, Feb. 18, 1912
Philadelphia Record, "Mr. Slade," Feb. 18, 1912
Providence Journal, "Private View of Slade's Paintings," Dec. 29, 1909 Providence Tribune, "Caleb Arnold Slade," Jan. 2, 1910
Public Ledger, Philadelphia, Feb. 18, 1912
Who Was Who in American Art, vol. 3, p. 3057; Yorkshire Post, Leeds, England, nd, np (ca. 1909)