Michener Art Museum

Walter Elmer Schofield

Walter Schofield, silver print by R.S. Bates, c. 1930, photo courtesy James A. Michener Art Museum archives
BORN: September 10, 1867, Philadelphia, PA
DIED: March 10, 1944, Cornwall, England

The landscape painter is of necessity, an outdoors man....For vitality and convincing quality only come to the man who serves, not in the studio, but out in the open where even the things he fights against strengthen him, because you see, nature is always vital, even in her implicit moods and never denies a vision to the real lover.-Walter Elmer Schofield

Walter Elmer Schofield was a landscape painter associated with the Pennsylvania impressionists. Known for his virile, or vigorously masculine, style of painting, Schofield specialized in snow scenes, painted in Bucks County and other locales in the Delaware River Valley, as well as marine landscapes often painted in Cornwall, England. A strapping outdoorsman who stood 6'4", Schofield generally painted outdoors, en plein air, savoring even the bitterest winter weather. Although Schofield's early landscapes were soft and romantic, featuring muted greens, grays, and browns in a tonalist manner, his mature work was characterized by bold realism and impressionism. These paintings are vibrant, exulting in the energy of coursing, frosty streams, while showing bold colors, and broad, thick, heavy brushstrokes. Schofield divided his time between the United States, where he was based in the Philadelphia area, and Cornwall, in England, where his wife Muriel and their children resided. Schofield descended from an illustriously creative family; his mother, Mary Wollstonecraft Schofield, was the grand-niece of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.