William H. Drury (1888-1960)

American Impressionist painter, etcher and educator William Holland Drury was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts in 1888. He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, graduating in 1909. He also studied with Edmund Charles Tarbell at the Museum of Fine Arts School, Boston and with Charles Herbert Woodbury at his Ogunquit School in Maine. By 1915 Drury had moved to Newport, Rhode Island. He was a founder and president of the Newport Art Association. In 1917 he was living in Providence. He was a member of: the Providence Art Club; Providence Water-Color Club; Society of American Graphic Artists; and California Printmakers. He served from 1918 to 1919 as an Ensign in the United States Naval Reserve during World War I and taught navigation at the Naval Station in Newport during World War II. Drury held a long tenure as head of the Art Department at St. George’s School in Middletown, Rhode Island. William H. Drury and Richard Grosvenor Center for the Arts on the St. George’s campus is named for two of the school’s most beloved and respected art teachers. Drury’s son, William Holland Drury, Jr. graduated from St. George’s and went on to become an eminent Harvard-trained ecologist. Drury, Sr. served as etching and drawing instructor on the faculty of the Rhode Island School of Design from 1910 to 1938. In 2007 RISD dedicated its William Holland Drury Studio in the artist’s honor. Drury specialized in marine subjects, reflecting his love of the sea, sailing and fishing. His work was exhibited at: the Newport Art Association; Art Institute of Chicago; the New York World’s Fair of 1939; and the National Academy of Design. The artist’s works are held among the collections of: the Rhode Island School of Design; National Gallery of Art; Brooklyn Museum; California State Library; Los Angeles Museum of Art; Library of Congress; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. He died in Newport in 1960. Mounted in the foyer of the Seamen’s Church Institute in Newport is Drury’s 1930 mural depicting Narragansett Bay in the format of an antique chart and embellished with symbols of his personal life and historic episodes on the Bay. The mural was donated by the Goddard family, including the artist’s daughter, Hope Drury Goddard.

Orange and Pink Mountains, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

by William H. Drury (1888-1960)

Medium DetailWatercolor on paper
Dimensions13 7/8 x 20 7/8 inches; Framed: 17 x 23 ¾ inches
Signed LocationSigned and inscribed with location, lower left

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