Aiden Lassell Ripley1896 - 1969
Born: December 31, 1896, Wakefield, Massachusetts
Died: August 29, 1969, Lexington, Massachusetts
As a child, Aiden Lassell Ripley was interested in both music and art. Although he was a talented pianist and tuba player, he decided to study art at the Fenway School of Illustration in Boston. He joined the Army during World War I and served as an infantryman and in the military band. After his discharge in 1919, Ripley returned to New England to study with Frank Benson and Philip Hale at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts where he specialized in landscapes. In 1924, he received a fellowship to travel to France, the Netherlands, and North Africa for two years. After his return, landscape and portraiture sales suffered during the Great Depression. Ripley adapted to the situation by temporarily teaching at the Harvard School of Architecture and by incorporating hunting and fishing scenes into his landscapes, as sales of sporting images remained strong. He continued to focus on images of game birds and sporting scenes for the remainder of his artistic career but also created portraits and historical works on commission.
Along with Ogden Pleissner, Aiden Ripley is known as the preeminent painter of sporting scenes of the twentieth century. He worked mainly in watercolor but also in oil, etching, and drypoint. In the 1930s and 40s, he illustrated several books for Derrydale Press, and in 1942, he won the Federal Duck Stamp competition with his American Widgeon. He served as President of the of Guild of Boston Artists for ten years and was a dedicated member of the National Academy of Design, the American Watercolor Society, the Audubon Artists, the American Artists' Professional League, among others. His work can be found in the collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.