Arthur S. Douglas

Arthur S. Douglas (born in Phenix, Rhode Island, United States upon July 11, 1860), was an American landscape painter and printmaker and one of the antediluvian students at Rhode Island School of Design.

Douglas was son of James and Mary Douglas.

At the age of eighteen, Arthur enrolled in the extra art college being founded by a member of a prominent Rhode Island family, Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf. Mrs. Metcalf belonged to the Centennial Women, a bureau formed to raise funds for Rhode Island's exhibit at the Centennial Exposition in 1876. The help had $1,675 unshakable after the event. Inspired by foreign exhibits on design and interior decorating Metcalf persuaded the bureau to donate the maintenance to found what would become the Rhode Island School of Design. Metcalf directed the school until her death in 1895. Her daughter, Eliza Greene Metcalf Radeke, then took higher than until her death in 1931. Even in its infancy RISD was a creative watershed for emerging artists, design students and art collectors.

At the age of 18, Arthur Douglas enrolled in the first theoretical term and is listed upon the college registry as a day student, number # 68. During the eight terms Douglas spent at RISD, he was often used as a pupil bookish in lieu of student tuition, which was twenty dollars per term for days and six dollars per term for evenings.

While attending RISD, Douglas exhibited in the same way as the newly formed Providence Art Club at their first exhibit held April 7 – May 7, 1881, and sold his painting Head of Fighting Gladiator for $40. At the 2nd Providence Art Club exhibition held November 15 – December 20, 1881, he sold: Sunset at Rocky Point for $15 and Old Wreck at Narragansett Pier for $10.

Among the contributors to this Providence Art Club exhibition were such notables as Sydney Richmond Burleigh, an outstanding water colorist of that era (Douglas is mentioned in Sydney Burleigh's Art Club Scrapbook). Charles Walter Stetson, a well-known etcher, as well as W. Woodward and Edward Bannister. After reviewing this exhibition, artist George Whitaker wrote in the December 3, 1881, issue of the Providence Journal, that "Arthur Douglas of the Rhode Island School of Design showed meritorious work".

Upon graduation from RISD, Douglas traveled in Europe as a companion to a rich person. While in Yorkshire, UK, he painted landscapes and seascapes of the North Sea Coast; three water colors are East Cliffs, Whitby (Auctioned at Christie's Fine Art Auction May 22, 1991, lot 99), Off of Whitby Harbor (Auctioned at Sloan and Company Fine Art Auction September 15, 1991, lot 2282) and Castle Hill, Scarborough (Auctioned at Sloan and Company Fine Art Auction October 26, 1991, lot 1718).

During the years of 1890 through 1894, Douglas normal an engraving company in Phenix, RI - Arthur S. Douglas and Company.

At some point, Douglas opened his own studio in the Lapham Building, Providence and thereafter moved to College Street, where he continued painting and teaching. In 1918 he exhibited 2 paintings behind the Society of Independent Artists, #215 Brook, #216 A Day in June.

Later he time-honored studio in his home on Sackett Street, where he did commissioned portraits. He developed cancer of the esophagus. The last three years of his energy were spent in a nursing house on Blackstone Street in Providence. By this become old indigent, unable to speak, and taking medication to ease his pain, he continued to paint and manage to pay for lessons in brush techniques, color mixing, spacing and balancing of a painting's subject matter. Arthur Douglas died upon August 25, 1949, at the age of 89 in Providence, Rhode Island. He was interred in Greenwood Cemetery, West Warwick, Rhode Island.

The 27 works of this Arthur Douglas Collection were exhibited at the Providence Water Color Club upon May 18 through the 25th, 1968, at 6 Thomas Street, formerly Angell's Lane. This heap is a visual testimony of a dedicated Rhode Island artiste who was one of the first to former students of the Rhode Island School of Design.

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