|About Artists Exhibitions Services Blog Contact|
Ray Skolfield was born in Portland, Maine in 1909.
Art was an essential part of his life. He was taking art lessons at the Portland School of Arts at the age of five and later studied at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts. A scholarship allowed him to pursue his art training at the Art Students League in New York City. As a young artist he won esteem among his peers.
But this is through the Works Progress Administration, a federal funded program created by the American government to fight unemployment during the Great Depression, that Skolfield was mainly employed. Thousands of artists were hired to depict the American scene not only to keep track of this unique time of hardship but also to remind the American people, through paintings of rural landscapes, of cities and portraits of the essence of America.
During this time Skolfield worked on several art projects, paintings and lithographs that are now displayed in museums all over the USA, including the National Museum of Art, Library of Congress, Baltimore Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Portland (Oregon) Art Museum, Saint Louis Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Art and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
Ray Skolfield left New York and returned to Maine when his physical and mental health deteriorated. He was admitted to a Maine mental health facility where he spent the next thirty five years. Despite his health issues, he never ceased to paint until he passed away in 1996.
Skolfield is one of the few artists who, through his art, recorded with precision and sensibility everyday America during one of its most difficult times.