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Tom Lovell

Birth place or City of origin: New York City
State of origin: NY
Last known City: Santa Fe
Last known State: NM
Start/Birth date: 1909
Death/End date: 1997

Lovell, born in New York City in 1909, was a traditional painter of Western history. “I like people,” Lovell once said. “If I can communicate some of this feeling in each painting, common ground may be established with the casual spectator. I believe the artist has a certain obligation to interest and inform without being encyclopedic about detail.”

“I enjoy recreating the past,” he added. “As a boy, books of adventure in far off times and places were real. At seventeen, I shipped as a deckhand on the Leviathan and various other jobs followed. Enrollment in the College of Fine Arts at Syracuse University was the next step. At this time the newsstands were filled with ‘pulp’ magazines and I produced a cover in oils and eight or ten dry brush illustrations a month during my senior year. The message on the covers had to out scream a hundred others. After graduation I continued to free lance for the pulps for six years before tackling the ‘slicks.’ In 1944, I enlisted in the Marine Corps and was assigned to an easel. Illustration continued to flourish after the war."

In 1969, a commission for fourteen large paintings of southwestern history caused Lovell to shift his focus to the American West. Since then, almost all of his work was Western history. In 1974, he won the National Academy of Western Art’s Prix de West, was elected to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame, and won the Franklin Mint gold medal for prints. Lovell has been featured in Artists of the Rockies, summer of 1980 and in Persimmon Hill. He was a member of the Cowboy Artists of America and NAWA.

Resource: Contemporary Western Artists, by Peggy and Harold Samuels 1982, Judd’s Inc, Washington, DC


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