Goodwin, Arthur Clifton – American Artist

Arthur Clifton Goodwin oil on canvas board painting, The Brooklyn Bridge, signed

p4A ItemID E8880919
Arthur Clifton Goodwin oil on panel painting, Southwesterly View from Madison Square Park, signed

p4A ItemID E8880917
Arthur Clifton Goodwin oil on canvas board painting, "Village with Fall Colors", signed

p4A ItemID E8860381
Arthur Clifton Goodwin oil on canvas, Boston Harbor View, signed

p4A ItemID F7980557

Arthur Clifton Goodwin (American, 1864 to 1929)

Arthur C. Goodwin, whose personality alternated between that of a dandy and a destitute alcoholic, was once known as the “Beau Brummel of Chelsea”. In 1900, while watching his artist friend Louis Kronberg at work on a pastel, Goodwin discovered a passion for painting, and at age 30 began the life of an artist. While seeking in his art a refuge from the cruelty of an impoverished lifestyle, Goodwin captured the city with vivacity, freshness and sensitivity, primarily self-taught, Goodwin emerged as the painter par excellence of city life in Boston.

He also painted familiar scenes of Washington Square, Central Park and Fifth Avenue when he worked from his Greenwich Village studio in New York city. Inspired by work of fellow impressionist Childe Hassam, Goodwin stated, “I just came from a visit to Childe Hassam and he said, ‘Goodwin, you are the greatest painter in Boston’. As long as those who know feel that way toward my work, I don’t give a damn what the fashion of the day is. I paint what I feel” (The Sunday Herald Traveler, Sept 24, 1967. page 15) Although Goodwin was intrigued by the Impressionist concentration on light, he never ascribed to a particular artist or style but painted “en plein air”.

In 1911, Goodwin exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with other notable Boston School artists, Soon after, he was accepted into the Guild of Boston Artists and gained the recognition of such notables as John Singer Sargent and Isabella Gardner. A failed marriage probably caused his return to Boston, a bohemian lifestyle, and drinking. Although he never studied in Paris, as did most other American Impressionists, he captured perhaps better than anyone the feeling of Boston with vibrant strokes in oils and pastels.

When he died, his friends found him in his little room with his bags packed and a ticket to France in his pocket.

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