Walter Emerson Baum

American, 1884 - 1956
Walter Baum was born in 1884 and had a long and diverse career as a painter, museum director, teacher and critic. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and apprenticed under Thomas Anschultz. Baum chose a more academic route in his art while other American artists were celebrating more artistic freedom. He produced more than 2,000 works in oil, tempera, watercolor and pastel. His artwork is generally divided into two distinct groups; landscapes of Delaware River Valley, illustrating woodlands, creeks and the countryside, and cityscapes of surrounding towns with detailed architecture, intense pure color and objects outlined in bright black. In addition to painting, Baum co-founded and supported the Lehigh Art Alliance in the 1930s. He also served as Director at the Allentown Museum of Art and headed the Baum School of Art. He wrote over 500 reviews for the "Philadelphia Evening Bulletin" and continued to exhibit work at the PAFA annually from 1914-1954. Baum received the Sesnan Gold award from PAFA in 1925. He is often considered the "Father of Art in Lehigh Valley". Biography courtesy of The Caldwell Gallery, www.antiquesandfineart.com/caldwellWalter Emerson Baum Paintings
Walter Emerson Baum, well known as the critic for the "Philadelphia Bulletin" and for his landscape work, was born in Sellersville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 1884. His entire life was spent in Sellersville, where he painted landscapes of the local countryside, and cityscapes depicting the antiquated architecture of his and other local towns.

He received his initial training in 1904 from William Trego, a painter of military scenes. He entered the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts six years later, in 1910, and studied with Thomas Eakin's teacher, Thomas Anshutz. Daniel Garber, an influential member of the New Hope Landscape School, and member of the Academy's faculty, also influenced Baum's work and style.

Baum often painted the area's seasonal changes working en plein air, occasionally painting snowstorms in the snowstorm itself. In the mid 1930's, he traveled to Europe, painting and visiting many museums. His trip was relatively short as he was eager to return home and resume painting the Delaware Valley's scenery.

His works were completed in tempera, watercolor, oil, and pastels, numbering more than 2000. Although most of his paintings were landscapes, he completed many quaint cityscapes of nearby Allentown and Manayunk.

In 1921, Baum began teaching art, and founded the Baum School in Allentown. For thirty years, ending in 1956, Baum worked as art editor and critic for the "Philadelphia Evening" and "Sunday Bulletin", writing more than 500 reviews. He died in 1956.

Source: David Zellman, "300 Years of American Art"

Biography courtesy of Roughton Galleries, www.antiquesandfineart.com/roughton
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