Howard A. Curtis — painter of the sea — was born in Gloucester, MA on June 6, 1906 and died in October of 1989. He is best remembered for his marines, allegorical pieces, and murals. A native of Gloucester, Curtis graduated from Gloucester High School and then went on to graduate from Wentworth Institute and Massachusetts College of Art, receiving a Bachelor of Science in 1931.
From 1934 to 1968 Howard Curtis presented future artists with information and hope as an art teacher at Gloucester High School. His murals hang in the sawyer Free Library in Gloucester.
Curtis remarked on his work: “Some painters try to make you see what they saw. Others try to make you feel what they felt. I think feeling is the reality – and that physical details count for little. My pictures, for example, are never of any one place. They’re arrangements in which everything is made to fit a particular mood. I’m interested in the solidity of the rock, the effect of the wind, the character of the sky, the force of the water. You need to have an empathy with the elements. You have to become the rocks, water, and sky, exactly as a great actor goes beyond himself in a play, speaking the lines in ways that touch the soul of his part.”
Curtis held memberships with the Rockport Art Association, North Shore Arts Association, New Hampshire Art Association and exhibited with the National Society of Painters in Casein; Academic Artists, Springfield, MA; and American Artists Professional League.
Curtis won awards and prizes such as the Gordon Grant Memorial; Gorton’s Waters of the World; Frederick Reinert Memorial; American Artists Professional League; Harriet Preston Memorial; Academic Artists – Gold Medal of Honor; Beverly Bicentennial Art Show – Blue Ribbon, 1975 – purple, 1976; Philip Schumaker Award; William Meyerowitz Award; CASMA Award
References: Artists of the Rockport Art Association – 1921-1980, c. 1980, page 46; Artists of the Rockport Art, 1990, Page 40; Association; South Street Gallery, 149 South Street, Hingham, MA.