Easton, Pennsylvania, ca. 1929" />

"On the Hill" by Walter Emerson Baum
Easton, Pennsylvania, ca. 1929

WALTER EMERSON BAUM, A. N. A.
(American, 1884 - 1956)


Oil on canvas laid on board, 32 x 40 inches (canvas), 40 ½ x 48 ½ inches (hand-carved gold leaf frame), signed lower left.  Exhibition label verso:  National Academy of Design, title:  "On the Hill," written verso:  "Easton," and "From Ber. Coll.," [Phillip Berman Collection].

"Besides frequently  exhibiting in Philadelphia, Baum had begun submitting work to the National Academy of Design in New York City.  In march 1936, his painting On the Hill (Collection of Dr. Nicholas Bruno) was accepted at their annual competition.  Out of six thousand entries, Baum's painting was one of the one hundred works chosen from non-members.  "On the Hill" was a part of a series of views of Easton, a city east of Allentown on the Delaware River.  Baum continued to find compositions of the Delaware River both above Easton and south to New Hope for the rest of his life." - Hutson-Saxton, Walter Emerson Baum, 1884 - 1956, Pennsylvania  Artist and Founder of the Baum School of Art and Allentown Art Museum, page 86.  Additionally, the painting was exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1929.

Baum studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and later received an honorary degree from Lehigh University.  He was a prolific artist who exhibited in over one hundred fifty museum exhibitions and received over thirty major awards.  Baum gained nationwide recognition when he won the prestigious Sesnan Gold Medal in 1925 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art Annual.  He went on to win the Zabriskie Prize in 1945 from the American Watercolor Society and the Medal of Honor in 1953 from the National Arts Club.  Baum, who many consider the "father of art in the Lehigh Valley," became an important promoter of art in the area.  His dedication to the prolongation and preservation of art culminated with his founding of the Lehigh Art Alliance and cofounding the Allentown Art Museum.  Baum founded his own school of art in 1929.  Besides directing the Baum School of Art, Baum worked as the first director of the Allentown Art Museum and amassed a major regional art collection of the period.  In June of 1956, Baum retired as director of the Baum School.

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Higher resolution images available upon request

Comprehensive biographical information about the artist available upon request

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