–by Mark Andrew Harris, Founder & Director
We are pleased to announce that two Arthur Walter Stewart watercolor landscapes were recently donated to the Dixie Art Colony Foundation. The pair of paintings came to us from the Denver, Colorado, area. They were donated by the granddaughter of the person who acquired them from Stewart. The donor believes the paintings were purchased from Stewart while he was in France on a painting vacation. However, the paintings dated 1939 appear to be of rural Alabama. Looking closely, you can see "Martin Gourds" hanging on a pole behind one of the barns. The paintings are stylistically reminiscent of the work of Stewart's mentor Kelly Fitzpatrick and the work we at the DAC Foundation refer to as "The Colony Style."
ARTHUR STEWART, II, 1915-2001, Rural Alabama Landscape I, 1939, watercolor on board, 14 x 20 inches; AWS-2023.AW.0001 | Gift of Elizabeth Olds Ludvik
Arthur Stewart was born in 1915 in Marion, Alabama, and attended Marion Military Institute. He began painting at the age of six and held his first one-man exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago at age 23. After graduating from MMI in 1935, he continued his studies at Auburn University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He first attended the Dixie Art Colony in 1935. Upon entering the Army, he served as an artist for the ordnance department during World War II. In 1952, he settled permanently in Birmingham and became internationally known as a portrait painter. His work has hung in Milan's La Scala opera house, the White House, the Pentagon, and in the personal collection of Queen Elizabeth II.
ARTHUR STEWART, II, 1915-2001, Rural Alabama Landscape II, 1939, watercolor on board, 14 x 20 inches; AWS-2023.AW.0001 | Gift of Elizabeth Olds Ludvik
He established his studio at Glocca Morra Farm in Cahaba Heights in the late 1950s and was inducted into the Portrait Painters' Hall of Fame in 1985. He completed thousands of portraits, as well as landscapes. Stewart's health began to fail in the 1990s. He passed away in 2001.
Thank you to our donors for placing these valuable artifacts in our care and helping the Dixie Art Colony Foundation preserve this important part of Alabama's history.
Follow this link to learn more about Arthur Stewart.
Sources: DAC Foundation Archives, Personal interviews. Dixie Art Colony Foundation, Wetumpka, Alabama