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Stono Bay, 1948
Anthony Thieme (1888 – 1954)

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Oil on canvas
30 x 36 inches
Bears original label which reads STONO-Bay / S. Carolina / Painted 1948
Signature Details: A Thieme
Status: Available

Anthony Thieme was born in Rotterdam, Holland. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam (1902-04), at the Royal Academy at The Hague (1905), as an apprentice artist in Dusseldorf, Germany, under George Hoecker, Germany's foremost stage designer (1906-08), and at the School of Fine Arts, Turin (1909-1910). After completing his studies he traveled in Europe, England, and South America, and he worked as a stage designer in these places both before and after coming to the United States in 1917. In 1919 he settled in Boston where for nine years he worked as a designer and painter of stage settings for the Copley Theatre, while also doing book illustrations for Boston publishers.

By 1927, he had established a studio at Cape Ann in Rockport, Massachusetts, where he taught summer painting classes and became well-known for his seascapes and shore scenes. While he worked in an Impressionist manner, he was also profoundly influenced by the Dutch seascape tradition, and was particularly interested in the effects of light on water. His work was exhibited in New York, Washington, Paris, and London, and was acquired by many museums.

In 1946, Thieme's Cape Ann studio burned down, together with much of his work of the previous thirty years. Rather than rebuild his life in Massachusetts, Thieme struck out for territory which he had not previously explored. His first stop was Charleston, South Carolina, where he spent two months in prolific activity, inspired by the revelation of light and color far more intense than that to which he had become accustomed. The paintings that he produced in Charleston were a far cry from his "picturesque New England harbor scenes," as the reviewer of Thieme's exhibition in 1947 at the Grand Central Art Galleries acknowledged. The serenity and tonal discipline of his seascapes was abandoned for the elaborations of wrought iron and profusion of blossoms that Charleston imposed on his senses. The heady aroma of the Southern landscape induced him to continue his travels - to St. Augustine and Nassau in 1948, to Guatemala in 1949, to the Riviera in 1951, and to Spain in the year of his death, in 1954.

ART AND ARTISTS OF THE SOUTH: The Robert P. Coggins Collection, Bruce W. Chambers, Ph.D., University of South Carolina Press, 1984, pp. 80-81.

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