Oct. 28 William Horace Littlefield born in Roxbury, Massachusetts,
1919 Fall Begins his study of drawing, and later painting,
in private lessons with Adeleine Wolever, an enthusiast
of Impressionism who had studied with the Boston painters
Benson, Woodbury, and Tarbell, Takes art history, life drawing,
and art technique and technical classes at the Fogg Art
Museum, Harvards art department at the time, but continues
his private lessons with Wolever until 1923.
1923 Sends his drawings watercolors for critique to William
Zorach, from whom he buys woodcuts.
1924 May Graduates with an A.B. from Harvard. He shares
a studio apartment with British painter and printmaker S.
W. Hayter, at 23 Villa Chauvelot in the 15th. Whereas Hayter
had become a modernist, Littlefield at this time neither
adopted modernism nor was accepted into its circle of adherents
and advocates. Applies for a 1929 30 Guggenheim fellowship
in painting and is turned down.
June Returns to the United States, that summer spent painting
in Falmouth, with his parents at 29 Depot Ave. Paints Buoys,
Winter 2930 In Boston living at
his parents, 20 Chapel St., Brookline. Later moves
with them to 43 Binney St., Boston, which becomes the winter
location of Annie Littlefields Longwood Riding Stable.
1930 Becomes acquainted with Lincoln Kirstein, editor of
Hound & Horn and director of the Harvard Society for
Contemporary Art, where Littlefield is shown in June.
Nov. 25 Finishes commissioned full-length portrait of Lincoln
Kirstein as a barefoot sailor.
1934 February Portrait of Eric Schroeder in a Persian robe,
commissioned by Lincoln Kirstein.
October At Kirsteins request, does stage sets for
Serenade and Mozartiana, the American Ballet of New Yorks
first production, performed at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford.
1946 Converts the carriage barn at 29 Depot Ave., Falmouth,
into his studio and redoes the other half of the building
into a permanent residence where he lives when not in New
York City or Provincetown. Gives up the family residence
at 43 Binney St., Boston.
His article Modern Art and Photography published
in Highlights of Photographic Art edited by B. Vincent Abbott,
Becomes co-founder and co-director of the Cape Cod Art Association,
Summer At Depot Ave., Falmouth. .
July Sept. Attends Esteban Vincentes Highfield
Art Workshop in Falmouth, where De Kooning is guest lecturer
and Gottlieb, Hofmann, Kline, Motherwell, Pollock, Reinhardt,
Fall Rents studio at 119 Stanton St., lower Manhattan, his
first of two winter residences he keeps in New York City;
becomes pupil of Morris Davidson
1952 January First New York City show since 1932, at Contemporary
Arts, which reveals his departure from traditional work
into semi-abstract space composition having simultaneous
surface and depth relationships.
Fall The Club, a membership organization of mostly 10th
Street scene Abstract Expressionists, formed with Littlefields
1953 January Writes Is There a New American Art,
a polemic with Thomas Hesss catalogue introduction
to Willem DeKoonings show of the Woman series, and
submits it to ARTnews, which rejects it.
February Submits to ARTnews a polemic about Harold Rosenbergs
The American Action Painters, which is also
The Club rents a space at 39 East 8th St., the first of
its several locations, followed by 818 Broadway (1955),
20 East 14th St. (1957), 73 4th Ave at 10th St. (1958),
150 West 15th St. (1959). Littlefield becomes its administrator
and/or secretary treasurer over the years.
1955 Defines himself as an Abstract Expressionist. Recent
Paintings. at Regina (May) and Brodley (Nov.) galleries,
1959 Feb. March One-man show, Paintings 1956/1957/1958,
at Nonagon Gallery, 99 2nd Ave.
July Aug. His collection of second- and third-generation
Abstract Expressionists exhibited as The New American
Painting 10th Street, N.Y. at the Cape Cod
Art Association. Over the next nine years fails to find
a home for collection and its sold off in his estate
August Begins a weekly column of art criticism called Art
Corner in the Falmouth Enterprise, which continues
off and on, mostly in the summer and fall months, until
1960s His life is increasingly devoted to exhibition hanging,
judging, art criticism, and local administration on the
Cape, while continuing to stay in NYC in the winters. The
Club dissolves in the early 60s.
1969 July 4 or 5 Dies at 29 Depot Ave.,