Arthur Watson Sparks USA
4-1871 Washington DC, USA – 8-12-1919 Philadelphia, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
A landscape and genre painter, Arthur Watson Sparks was born in Washington, DC to Mary and Frederick Sparks, a federal government clerk. He trained as an architect and also studied art in the evenings at the Corcoran Art School under Howard Helmick.
In 1898 Arthur Watson Sparks won a design competition, along with his collaborator J. Elfreth Watkins, chief of buildings for the United States National Museum, for a proposed Hall of American Inventions to be built at the 1900 Paris Expo. Sparks remained in Paris, France for ten years where he studied art at Académie Julian and Ecole des Beaux Arts. He was much impressed with the painting of Claude Monet and painted colorful scenes of relaxed figures in dappled, suffused light.
Arthur Watson Sparks also traveled in the West, and one of his surviving paintings from that period, a Grand Canyon landscape, is titled "Grand View, Ariz Canyon."
Arthur Hamerschlag, head of Andrew Carnegie's new Carnegie Technical Schools, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, hired Arthur Watson Sparks as the founding head of the Department of Painting and Illustration, where he taught for eleven years until 1919. That same year he resigned to join the art colony at New Hope, Pennsylvania to be near his friend the painter Edward Redfield. Sparks, however, contracted Spanish flu that August and died in Philadelphia.
Art Movement: Impressionism
Influences: Howard Helmick