Beach, Chester, 1881-1956

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Sculptor and medalist; New York, N.Y.

From the description of Chester Beach papers, 1885-1966. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 80064150

Chester Beach (1881-1956) was a sculptor and medalist in New York, N.Y.

From the description of Chester Beach papers, 1885-1994. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 669910178

From the description of Chester Beach papers, 1846-1999, bulk circa 1900-1999. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 756821024

From the description of Chester Beach papers, 1885-1994. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 710018291

Sculptor Chester Beach (1881-1956) was known for portrait busts, allegorical and mythological figures, coins and medallic art in the Beaux-Arts tradition. He lived and worked in New York City and Brewster, New York.

Chester Beach, son of Chilion Beach and Elizabeth Ferris Beach, was born in San Francisco on May 23, 1881. Beach initially studied at the California School of Mechanical Arts in 1899. He remained in San Francisco and between 1900 and 1902 continued his art training at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art while working as a jewelry designer. To further his career and exposure to artistic trends, Beach moved to New York City in 1903. The following year, he went to Paris, enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and also studied with Raoul Verlet at the Académie Julian.

Upon his return to New York in 1907, Beach established a studio on Tenth Street. He won the National Academy of Design's Barnett Prize for sculpture in 1907 and the Academy elected him an Associate Artist the following year. His increased stature resulted in numerous portrait commissions and eventually lead to commissions for monuments and architectural sculpture. In 1910, Chester Beach married Eleanor Hollis Murdock, a painter he met when both were art students in Paris. The couple spent the next two years in Rome; for several years and after returning Beach continued to spend time in Italy and maintained a studio in Rome.

Solo exhibitions of Beach's work were presented at Macbeth Gallery (1912), Pratt Institute (1913), Cincinnati Art Museum (1916), John Herron Art Institute (1916), and Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester (1917). In addition to frequent participation in annual exhibitions at the National Academy of Design and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Beach was represented in the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915), and in group shows at venues including: Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Art Club, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, and National Arts Club.

The gold medal presented by Académie Julian (1905), Beach's first award, was followed by many other prizes, among them: American Numismatic Society prize for a medal commemorating the Peace of Versailles (1919) and its Saltus Medal for distinguished medallic art (1946); Architectural League of New York gold medal (1924); National Academy of Design Barnett Prize (1907) and Watrous gold medal (1926); National Arts Club medal and prizes (1923, 1926, 1932); and the Panama-Pacific International Exposition silver medal (1915).

Beach was an Academician of the National Academy of Design, a member of the American Numismatic Society, Architectural League of New York, National Arts Club, National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the National Sculpture Society (President, 1927-1928).

For more than 40 years, Beach lived and worked at 207 East 17th Street. The brownstone, purchased in 1913, was large enough for the family's home, his studio, and additional studios that were rented to other artists. Through barter, Beach acquired land in Brewster, NY, and in 1917 hired Italian stonemasons to build a studio. Later, they erected a summer house for the family. Many old stone walls on the site provided material for both buildings and Beach named the property Oldwalls.

After a long illness, Chester Beach died at Oldwalls on August 6, 1956. The funeral service was held at his Brewster, NY, studio and he is buried in Cold Spring Cemetery, Cold Spring, NY.

From the guide to the Chester Beach papers, 1846-1999, (Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Beach, Chester, 1881-1956. Artist file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
creatorOf Chester Beach papers, 1846-1999 Archives of American Art
creatorOf Beach, Chester, 1881-1956. Chester Beach papers, 1846-1999, bulk circa 1900-1999. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Chester A. Beach correspondence, sketches, and other material American Numismatic Society
referencedIn Beach, Chester, 1881-1956 : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
referencedIn John Jay Chapman additional papers, 1841-1940. Houghton Library
referencedIn Bartlett, Paul Wayland, 1865-1925. Papers of Paul Wayland Bartlett, 1881-1949. Library of Congress
creatorOf Beach, Chester, 1881-1956. Chester Beach papers, 1885-1994. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Brookgreen Gardens. Brookgreen Gardens photographs, 1936-1937. Clemson University Libraries, Robert Muldrow Cooper Library
creatorOf Beach, Chester, 1881-1956. Chester Beach papers, 1885-1966. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Beach, Chester, 1881-1956. Chester Beach : artist file : study photographs and reproductions of works of art with accompanying documentation 1930?-1990 [graphic] [compiled by staff of The Museum of Modern Art, New York]. Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection
referencedIn Käsebier, Gertrude, 1852-1934. Chester Beach [graphic]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Central Press Photograph (London). Press photographs of early twentieth century artists and sculptors. Getty Research Institute
creatorOf Beach, Chester, 1881-1956. Chester Beach papers, 1885-1994. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Allen, Mary Jester person
associatedWith Allen, Mary Jester. person
associatedWith American Academy in Rome. corporateBody
associatedWith Architectural League of New York. corporateBody
correspondedWith Bartlett, Paul Wayland, 1865-1925. person
associatedWith Beach, Eleanor Murdock. person
associatedWith Blumenschein, Ernest Leonard, 1874-1960. person
associatedWith Brookgreen Gardens. corporateBody
associatedWith Carrington, Fitz Roy, 1869-1954. person
correspondedWith Chapman, John Jay, 1862-1933 person
associatedWith Cleveland Museum of Art. corporateBody
associatedWith Couper, William, 1853-1942. person
associatedWith Curran, Charles C. (Charles Courtney), 1861-1942. person
associatedWith Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (France) corporateBody
associatedWith Ecole nationale supèrieure des beaux-arts (France) corporateBody
associatedWith Fitchen, Eleanor Beach person
associatedWith Fitchen, Eleanor Beach. person
associatedWith French, Daniel Chester, 1850-1931. person
associatedWith Greacen, Edmund W., 1876-1949. person
associatedWith Hancock, Walker Kirtland, 1901- person
associatedWith Huntington, Anna Hyatt, 1876-1973. person
associatedWith Jackson, Hazel Brill person
associatedWith Jackson, Hazel Brill. person
associatedWith Jennewein, Carl Paul, 1890- person
associatedWith Käsebier, Gertrude, 1852-1934. person
associatedWith Kuhn, Brenda, 1911- person
associatedWith Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949. person
associatedWith Leibig, Bonnie person
associatedWith Leibig, Bonnie. person
associatedWith MacMonnies, Frederick William, 1863-1937. person
associatedWith Mark Hopkins Institute of Art. corporateBody
associatedWith Mora, F. Luis (Francis Luis), 1874-1940. person
associatedWith Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Academy of Design (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Sculpture Society (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Nelson, Laurence, 1887-1978. person
associatedWith Nisbet, Robert H., 1879-1961. person
associatedWith Olmsted, Frederick Law, 1822-1903. person
associatedWith Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915 : San Francisco, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Parrish, Maxfield, 1870-1966. person
associatedWith Piexotto, Jessica B. person
associatedWith Purves, Austin, 1900- person
associatedWith Salmagundi Club. corporateBody
associatedWith Salon d'automne. corporateBody
associatedWith Winter, Ezra, 1886-1949. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)--New York
New York (State)--New York
New York (State)--New York
New York (State)--New York
Art, American
Eclecticism in architecture
Sculptors--New York (State)--New York
Artist's studios
Sculpture--Equipment and supplies
Sculpture, American
Sculpture--Economic aspects
Art--American (?)--Reproductions
Sculptors, American--New York (State)--New York


Birth 1881

Death 1956




Ark ID: w6183zcj

SNAC ID: 20974215