Robert Wesley Amick (1879-1969)
Amick is best known for genre scenes of the "Old West" which he remembered from his childhood in Colorado.
Robert Wesley Amick was born to a ranching family who lived on Currant Creek near Canon City, Colorado. He attended Yale University Law School and took art classes on the side. Graduating in 1903, Amick moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he practiced law for two years. The lure of art was too strong, however, and he left for New York where he studied privately and at the Art Students League from 1905 to 1909.
By the time Amick completed his art education he had begun to sell illustrations to leading magazines including Harper's, Scribner's, American, Redbook, and Metropolitan. He established a home and studio at Washington Square in New York where he did landscape and genre paintings of both eastern and western scenes, in addition his illustration work. Amick was elected to the Society of Illustrators in 1913. In 1915 he opened a summer studio at Woodstock, New York which became a favorite gathering place of members of the art colony. Between 1921 and 1929, the United States Printing and Lithograph Company reproduced twelve of Amick's western paintings. They were distributed to public schools around the country and also sold at retail.
Amick married Alice Rowe of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in 1916. The couple had one daughter, Katherine. In 1926 the family moved to Greenwich, Connecticut and Amick commuted to his New York studio. In 1930, he closed both the Woodstock and Manhattan studios and consolidated his work at his home.
Amick founded the Art Society of Old Greenwich in 1927 and served as its president for seventeen years. In the 1940s he added portraits to his body of work, completing more than 100 images of local celebrities. Always fond of painting horses, Amick made a portrait of the legendary racehorse, Man o' War in 1942. The painting was instantly popular and he was compelled to paint at least two other versions. The original was made into a top-selling poster.
A year after Amick's death, his most devoted collector, Roy C. Coffee of Texas, organized an exhibition of his paintings which traveled through Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.