biography of William MacGregor PAXTON (1869-1941)

Birth place: Baltimore, MD

Addresses: Newton Centre, MA

Profession: Portrait, mural & genre painter, etcher, lithographer, teacher

Studied: Cowles Art Sch., Boston, with D. M. Bunker; Tarbell, Benson & DeCamp in Boston; Acad. Julian, Paris, 1889-90, 1892; Ecole de Beaux-Arts, Paris, with Gérôme.

Exhibited: Boston AC, 1895-1903; AIC, 1897-1926; PAFA Ann., 1898-1941 (prizes, 1915, 1921; gold medal, 1928); Pan-Am. Expo, Buffalo, 1901; St. Louis Expo, 1904 (medal); Corcoran Gal. biennials, 1907-41 (17 times); Pan-Pacific Expo, San Fran., 1915; other Corcoran Gal. exhs., 1919 (prize), 1935 (prize); Indianapolis MA, 1979 (retrospective).

Member: ANA, 1917; NA, 1928; SC; NAC; Copley Soc., 1894; Boston GA; St. Botolph Club, Boston; Phila. AC; Allied AA; AFA.

Work: BMFA; PAFA; MMA; Army & Navy Club; CGA; Cincinnati Mus.; Detroit Inst. Art; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT; St. Louis Art Mus.; El Paso (TX) Mus. Art; Butler AI, Youngstown, OH

Comments: One of the leading Boston School painters, along with Edmund Tarbell, Frank W. Benson, and Philip Leslie Hale. Paxton was particularly well-known for his extraordinary attention to the effects of light and to the details of flesh and fabric, as seen in his idealized paintings of young women in beautiful interiors. He also gained fame for his portraits, which included depictions of Grover Cleveland and Calvin Coolidge, and many Philadelphians (he was informally called the "court painter of Philadelphia"). Painted at Fenway Studios, Boston, 1906-15. Teaching: BMFA Sch., 1906-13.

Sources: WW40; Baigell, Dictionary; Ellen Wardwellber, William McGregor Paxton, 1869-1941 (exh. cat., Indianapolis Mus. of Art, 1979); Gerdts, American Impressionism, 207-14; Gammell, The Boston Painters, 109-22; Vose Galleries, Mary Bradish Titcomb and Her Contemporaries, 33; 300 Years of American Art, 627; Falk, Exh. Record Series.