Former University of Utah art department chair reflected contempory life on his canvas

Posted Thursday, December 4, 2003 - 12:00am

LeConte Stewart, born 1891 in Glenwood, Utah, began his extensive art education in 1912 at University of Utah with Edwin Evans, with private instruction from A.B. Wright.

Stewart attended Art Students League summer school, 1913-1914, in New York, where he studied with John F. Carlson and Walter Goltz. He later attended Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Chester Springs.

While studying art, Stewart pursued a teaching career and eventually became chairman of the art department at University of Utah. He retired as professor emeritus in1956, according to Stewart's biography, http://www.shs.nebo.edu/Museum/borup.html.

Though he utilized the mediums of etching, lithography, drawing, pastels, and design, Stewart mainly painted oil landscapes, which he usually painted quickly, on-site.

"I had a great urgency to work as rapidly as possible. Each Saturday I painted one large 24-by-30-inch picture in the morning and another in the afternoon. Between I painted four smaller stuides [sic]. Six was an average Saturday for me, (http://www.ogdencvb.org/Davis/leconte.html)."

Stewart's paintings and etchings are reminiscent of an age gone by and the simplicity of life.

"It is not that I love the lyrical in nature the less, but I feel that in modern life there is no time, no inclination for it. In these pictures I'm trying to cut a slice of contemporary life as it is in the highways and biways [sic] as I have found it," stated Stewart in 1935 as documented by http://www.ogdencvb.org/Davis/leconte.html.

Stewart "is remembered as having a short cropped moustache and a sprig of sagebrush poking out of his shirt pocket, a part of nature he kept close. He knew nature and he deeply loved painting it.

He was greatly moved by small things," according to http://www.ogdencvb.org/Davis/leconte.html.

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