AIDEN LASSELL RIPLEY(American, 1896-1969)
Best known as one of America’s preeminent painters of sporting scenes, Aiden Lassell Ripley’s prolific output also included portraits, murals, still lifes, non-sporting wildlife scenes, landscapes and allegories. Ripley was born in Wakefield, Massachusetts in 1896, the son of a horn player for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Young Ripley excelled at the piano and tuba, and for a time considered following his father into a career in music, but discovered a passion for nature and hunting and became an outdoorsman as well as a painter of outdoor life. He attended the Fenway School of Illustration until 1917 when he joined the Allied Expeditionary Force at the start of World War I. He was sent to France, and served as a tuba player in General Pershing’s band. Upon his return, he studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School with Philip Hale and water and wildlife artist Frank Benson from 1919 until 1924. In 1924, the Museum of Fine Arts School awarded Ripley a traveling fellowship which allowed him to visit France, Holland and North Africa. On his return, he taught drawing and painting at the School until 1931, and established his home and studio in Lexington, Massachusetts. He made subsequent trips to Normandy, Brittany and Scandinavia. His work was deeply influenced by Benson; however, Ripley developed his own style, becoming a perfectionist in draftsmanship and perspective and specializing in watercolors depicting in accurate detail scenes of hunting, game birds, bird dogs, fly-fishing, and the scenery of the American countryside. By the 1950s he was considered the nation’s leading watercolorist in sporting subjects. The Sportsman’s Gallery of Art and Books in New York City arranged for him to take hunting and painting trips to northern New England in the summer and autumn, and to Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina in the winter. An excellent hunter and angler, Ripley was also an active conservationist. Ripley was an associate member of the National Academy of Design; a member of the American Artists Professional League; the Audubon Artists; the Allied Artists of America; the National Society of Mural Painters; the Guild of Boston Artists, of which he was president from 1959-60; the American Society of Watercolor Painters; Boston Society of Watercolor Painters; and the North Shore Artists Association. Ripley’s work has been exhibited across the United States, winning many awards and medals. He died in Lexington, Massachusetts in 1969. His paintings are represented among the collections of museums and galleries throughout the United States and Canada including: the Albany Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Columbia Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Genesee Country Village and Museum, the High Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the National Museum of American Art-Smithsonian, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the Pebble Hill Plantation Museum, the Stark Museum of Art, the Canton Museum of Art, the Columbus Museum of Art, Georgia, the Johnson Collection, and the Morris Museum.