Last Friday we visited Schoonover Studios in Wilmington, Delaware.
This cluster of studio buildings was once the workplace of some of Howard Pyle’s most famous illustration students, including Frank Schoonover, N.C. Wyeth, Stanley Arthurs, and Harvey Dunn.
In this 1908 photo is Harvey Dunn, Henry Peck, N.C. Wyeth and Clifford Ashley.
Frank Schoonover stayed on in the studios until his death in 1965. The studio rooms are still filled with the memorabilia of his life spent painting and exploring: snowshoes, canoe paddles, powder horns, paintbrushes, palettes—and lots of paintings.
It’s all curated by his grandson, John, who welcomes visitors by appointment. From left: John Schoonover, Jeanette, me, Jean-Baptiste Monge, and Margo. Mr. Schoonover pointed out some pencil portraits that his grandfather did of trappers in the far north.
While John talked and showed us around, I couldn’t resist sketching his portrait in watercolor pencils. He has a lean, athletic face, with a twinkle in his eye.
To do a standing portrait of a moving, talking subject means having your supplies handy in a belt pouch while you’re working, because you have to keep moving around all the time to stay in front of your quarry.
History of the Schoonover Studios
Home page Schoonover Studios
Garin Baker took the interior photo and also did a post about the visit
Howard Pyle exhibition, also in Wilmington
Previously on GurneyJourney:
Video of Harvey Dunn
Schoonover on Color
....and thanks to Charley Parker for the nice blog post on Lines and Colors about the Dintopia 20th Anniversary edition.