The Sketch Class: A Westport Tradition: thru April 30th

The Sketch Class: A Westport Tradition
January 30th through April 30

In Our Little Gallery: Art from the Heart
glimpse into the lives of Naiad & Walter Einsel

Exhibit: Sketch Class Westport Historical SocietyBoth exhibits feature artists who have lived and worked here and in our surrounding towns whose talents and creativity helped give our communities their reputation as thriving arts colonies

   The Sketch Class: A Westport Tradition takes a look back at an event that takes place wherever a group of artists reside and work.  The Scketch class is not really a class but a gathering of artists and hopefuls who like to draw or paint from live models in costume or not.  These get-togethers take place in studios, basements, playrooms or any enclosure large enough to accomodate a raised model stand, several easels and chairs, lights and an assortment of odd props for those who wish to compose objects into their renderings.

“Being an artist is a solitary vocation,” says artist Howard Munce, the exhibit’s co-curator. “It’s the camaraderie.  Every hamlet where there are artists has at least one sketch class where they can come together.  A good example is the

art colony.  Since its beginnings in the 1900s it has supported at least one sketch class that met periodically to work from a live model.  One such sketch class, attended by local illustrators was held at Walker’s Frame Shop located near Klein’s on Main Street”.

Models usually hold their poses for a half hour with a fifteen-minute break, so that they can regain their equilibrium and circulation..  Soft music, coffee and a snack are part of the ambiance.  The rest period also allows anyone interested to take a look at what others are doing and check to see how their talents compare.
Apart from the camaraderie and the serious intensity of the sessions, one is constantly reminded that when faced with the intricacies and subtleties of the human body, that the old song’s assurance that the hip bone’s connected to the thigh bone is more easily sung than it is to draw.”

Among the sketch classes that have existed over the years are the following:

1. Remington Schuyler, illustrator for Boys’ Life magazine, held a sketch class in his Westport home.

2.  In 1932, weekly sketch classes were held at the home of Edward C. Nash located at Nash’s Corner.  The Nash family home had been unoccupied for some time and the artists gladly made the necessary repairs to make it habitable.  Among the artists involved in this project were: Remington Schuyler, John Steuart Curry, Edward   Boyd, Lowell L. Balcom, Alexander Couard, A. S. Daggy. Alice Gardin,  Robert Lambdin, Gregory McLoughlin, John Fenton, Ellen and Howard Heath  and Rose O,Neill.

3. Bob Baxter and Ann Toulmin-Rothe held a sketch class in the Old Factory building on Richmondville Road.

4.  Robert Fawcett, one of the 10 Famous Artists Founding Members, held his classes in the Famous Artists Building.

5. During World War II, Ms. Leslie Randel took a group to the Veterans Hospital in Newington to do sketches of the patients that were later sent home to their families.

6.  Westport artists Nancy Reilly and Joey Tate attended classes held by Sam Brown in his Westport studio. Brown also took a class to the Veterans Hospital.

7. Howard Munce is currently attending a class in Southport held in a former ballet studio owned by Elizabeth Gaynor. Her work, along with that of several other artists, will be on view in the Betty & Ralph Sheffer Gallery.

8. A video taken by Ken Smith for our Oral History Archives and photographs by Larry Untermeyer taken while the Southport class was in session also will be featured in the exhibit.

9. During the run of the exhibit WHS plans to host at least one sketch class open to both professional artists and beginners, who wish to participate.

  The Art from the Heart exhibit in the Little Gallery at WHS features the art of Naiad and Walter Einsel.  During their forty-seven years together, they created and exchanged unique gifts of art; drawings, collages, sculptures and poems expressing their love 
and admiration for each other in the form of Valentines and other anniversary missives.  Many of these exquisite handmade creations will be on display.  Although Naiad has kept her hand in the art world, she has spent time creating an extraordinary book also titled Art from the Heart as a tribute to Walter and to their enduring love.  Copies of the book are available in the WHS Gift Shop. 
Artist Neil Hardy joins Naiad Einsel as co-curator for this exhibit which will be on view until April 30, 2011 and the Society plans to sponsor an event with a Valentine’s Day theme.

The Sketch Class: A Westport Tradition
Howard Munce & Elizabeth Gaynor. Exhibit Co-curators
Art from the Heart
Naiad Einsel & Neil Hardy, Exhibit Co-curators

WHS Exhibit Co-chairmen
Mollie Donovan & Ellen Naftalin
 Exhibit Committee
Miggs  Burroughs, Barbara Brauner,  Katie Chase, HIlary Gibson, Peter Jennings, Elizabeth Juviler, Sue Kirby and Anne Levine
, Jo Fuchs Luscombe,Brian O’Leary, Ken Smith, Lisa Seidenberg,
Larry Untermeyer, Olivia Yule, Wally Woods, Denise Woods
Special thanks to  the following for their assistance:
Larry Untermeyer, Ken Smith & Lisa Seidenberg, Photography
We gratefully acknowledge and thank all of our sponsors:
Lead Sponsor: BNYMellon Wealth Management

Annual Sponsors: Catamount Wealth Management
Exhibit Sponsors: Max’s Art Supply , Susan Malloy.
Dr. Ellen Mahony, Plastic Surgeonm


 Get Connected
Join the Historical Society

Dorothy Curran, President
Susan Gold, Executive Director

Galleries & Gift Shop Hours
Monday-Friday from 10 to 4 pm
Saturday from 12 to 4 pm
Phone: 203.222.1424