Lever, Richard Hayley – Australian/American Artist

Richard Hayley Lever (1876-1958)

Richard Hayley Lever best known as a Post-Impressionist of marine scenes, he was born in Australia, and moved to London in 1893. He settled at St. Ives in Cornwall in 1900, where he painted marine scenes. For the next ten years, the modified impressionist style he developed brought him much recognition in Europe. In 1911, New England painter Ernest Lawson persuaded him to emigrate to the United States and Lever established his studio in Caldwell, New Jersey.

After the Depression he was forced to give up his New Jersey home and became director of the Studio Art Club in Mt. Vernon, New York. For the following 20 years he spent his summers at Gloucester, Massachusetts, and painted widely throughout the New England States including Caldwell, Manasquan, Woodstock, Nantucket, Vermont and Mohegan Island. In his later years Lever’s palette became more vibrant and his typically bold and slashing signature of the 1910′s and 1920′s moderated and he signed his later work with less flourish.

Today Lever’s painting can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the White House.

Information courtesy of Northeast Auctions.

Richard Haley Lever refused to acknowledge any stylistic similarities of his own work to other prominent artistic movements during his career. His style was, simply put, his very own. Lever was born in Australia, and his travels took him to Europe, Great Britain, and eventually to the center of the modern art world- the United States. It was here that he gained the most recognition for his individualistic style: his exhibitions and awards are numerous, and he is lauded for his harbor scenes of Manhattan, St. Ives and other areas he encountered during his travels.

Information courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions, June 2007.

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