American, 1858-1925

Willard Leroy Metcalf

Willard Leroy Metcalf was born in Lowell, Massachusetts and apprenticed in his youth to the landscape painter George Loring Brown.  He was awarded a scholarship to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and following a successful exhibition at Chase’s Gallery in Boston, Metcalf set off for Europe.  After a summer spent sketching in England in 1883, the artist enrolled in the Académie Julian where his teachers were Gustave Boulanger and Jules Lefebvre.  After a year of study at the Académie, late in the summer of 1884, Metcalf visited Grez-sur-Loing in Brittany where he painted plein-air landscapes.  He returned to Grez in early 1885, where among his companions were the painters Emil Carlsen, Charles H. Davis, and Theodore Robinson. Metcalf continued to paint at Grez until 1886, when he moved to Giverny. He was one of the earliest American artists to discover the area around Giverny. Other pioneers there included Theodore Robinson, John Leslie Breck, Louis Ritter, and Theodore Wendel.

Metcalf returned from Europe in 1889 and settled in New York. In 1897, he became a founding member of “The Ten”, a well known group which consisted largely of Impressionist artists. He spent the summers in the early 1900s in Old Lyme, Connecticut, where he was a prominent figure in the artist colony at the Florence Griswold residence. While Metcalf declined membership of the National Academy of Design, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1924.  His mature work, influenced by his friends Childe Hassam, J. Alden Weir, and Robert Reid, became significantly more impressionist in technique than his earlier works painted in France.

Museum Collections:
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
De Young Museum, San Francisco, CA
Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, CT
Lexington Art Museum, Lexington, KY
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Musée d’Art Américain, Giverny
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
National Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

Mark Murray Fine Paintings is a New York gallery specializing in buying and selling 19th century and early 20th century artwork. 

Please contact us if you are interested in selling your Willard Leroy Metcalf paintings or other artwork from the 19th century and early 20th century.