J. D. Herbert: NY Arts Student League

J. D. Herbert: NY Arts Student League

There are so many wonderful “class” photos of artists in the NY Arts Student League. This one of James Herbert is but a reminder of all the artists from Rhode Island who enhanced their education at the school.

What is the NY Arts Student League? While the Rhode Island School of Design remains one of the most prestigious art schools in the country, many 20th Century RISD graduates gravitated to the ever present art “Mecca”, New York City. The New York Arts Student League has always attracted some of the most provocative and thoughtful artists of their time from American impressionist William Merritt Chase (1849 – 1916) to modern painter Georgia O’Keefe (1887 – 1986).

Who is J.D. Herbert? Born in New York City, Herbert lived in Manhattan and studied at Columbia University during his youth. He attended the Art Student’s League of New York from 1920-1923, and again from 1926-1929. While there he studied with eminent artists such as Frank Drummond and Kenneth Hayes Miller. He joined a “coterie of intelligent, socially interested and humanly alive artists” such as Reginald Marsh and Isabel Bishop. As Reginald Marsh was attracted to painting of the social theatrics of New York daily life, Herbert painted from a more personal and psychological perspective, capturing the “performances” of individuals. Dancers and theatrical figures were his subject matter.

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