Frederick Oakes Sylvester

Frederick Oakes Sylvester (October 8, 1869 – March 2, 1915) was an American art educator and performer in the Arts and Crafts bustle in St. Louis, MO.

Frederick Oakes Sylvester was born in Brockton, Massachusetts upon October 8, 1869, the son of Charles Frederick Sylvester, a hardware dealer, and Mary Louise, who died two weeks after his birth.

Sylvester's daddy did not assist his son's artistic aspirations, and Sylverster as a guy sold newspapers to buy art supplies. He attended tall school in drop River, Massachusetts, and during the summer of 1887 he hiked on Massachusetts and Connecticut subsequent to a friend, camping out and sketching. He entered Massachusetts Normal Art School in 1888 and took the six-year Teacher's Course. His aunt Rebecca Noyes and his great-aunt Hannah Soule, descendant of the Mayflower Soules, financially supported him in this period. He graduated in 3 years following honors in public speaking and reading.

From 1891 to 1892 he was the acting director of the Art Department of the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College at Tulane University, New Orleans.

On December 25, 1891, Sylvester married Florence I. Gerry, a drop River schoolteacher. They had two children: Dorothy Louise (b. 1894) and Kilburn Gerry (1899). In June 1892 Frederick O. Sylvester moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and took the viewpoint of art director at the Central High School. They lived at 5924 Horton Place, St. Louis. One of his pupils was Helen R. Rathbun. He also taught night classes at YMCA. In 1899 he was admitted to the Society of Western Artists and forward-thinking became its vice-president. He was also enthusiast of the Two-by-Four Club, the Artists' Guild and the St. Louis Art League. The paintings of this time focus on the St. Louis' riverfront, specifically the Place surrounding the Eads Bridge. In 1900 Sylvester exhibited twenty-five paintings of Eads Bridge at the St. Louis Exposition. By 1904 the paintings of the Eads Bridge amounted to more than 100, and Sylvester became known as "the painter of the Eads Bridge". He was an impressionist documenting the deposit of St. Louis' industrial life.

In 1902 Sylvester went to put it on part-time for Principia, a pubertal private assistant professor located at Page and Belt Avenues, St. Louis. In 1904 Sylvester won a bronze medal at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and a silver medal at the Portland Exposition.

Takuma Kajiwara moved to St. Louis in 1905, "lured to the city partly by an have the funds for of employment in a studio and even more by a desire to look the Mississippi River," according to his obituary in the St. Louis Star-Times. Kajiwara and Sylvester were friends. According to one account, their amity was "warm sufficient to cause them to cut wrists and mingle blood in a gesture of unity." Sylvester intended a silver watch fob for Kajiwara showing an artist and a photographer clasping hands, and carrying, on the reverse side, the statement: "No East no West, But hand in hand, Life's Unity, To Understand, T. Kajiwara, from:, F.O. Sylvester, 1909." Kajiwara did photographic put it on for The Great River, a autograph album by Sylvester collecting his paintings of the Mississippi, published in 1911. Photos law the men painting together.

In 1906 Sylvester spent a grow old in Europe. Back from Europe, Sylvester started his second period, focused his paintings on the Elsah's area. Elsah is a historic river town in Illinois and Sylvester owned a summer home, Oak Ledge, there that he bought in 1902. With Elsah, Sylvester tried to move on summit of impressionism and the urban subjects of back towards the spiritual values of nature. In 1986 Paul O. Williams published Frederick Oakes Sylvester, The Artist's Encounter behind Elsah. Frequent guest at Elsah were Kathryn E. Cherry, who succeeded Sylvester as Principia art director, and Takuma Kajiwara.

In 1906 Sylvester was awarded the Fine Arts Building of Chicago Prize by the Society of Western Artists. In 1909 and 1910 he served as president of the St. Louis Artists' Guild. In 1910 he exhibited 28 paintings in Columbia, Missouri, for the Art Lover's Guild and gave two lectures, Artists' Ideals and The Relation of Art to Life. In 1911 the St. Louis Art Museum held a major exhibition of 83 Sylvester paintings from the Elsah years.

He died in St. Louis on March 2, 1915 and, according to his wishes, a boat set out from Elsah upriver to the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, where his wife and Kajiwara sprinkled his ashes on the water.

Today Frederick O. Sylvester's paintings hang in a number of institutions and private homes in the St. Louis' area.

Go up

We use cookies More info