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Before Arthur Spear could read, he was fascinated with drawing pictures of horses. From that very early age, art was a clear focus for Spear.
He was a studied artist who attended the Washington Art Students League and then the Art Students League in New York. It was there that he studied with Howard Chandler Christie, Kenyon Cox, George Bridgeman and Putnam Brindly.
In 1902, he went to Paris to study under Jean Paul Laurens at the Julien Academy. Most of the artwork that Spear created was of otherworldly sea dwellers, mermaids, satyrs and nymphs and intended as fine art and sold through the Vose Galleries in Boston.
Other exhibitions include the Rosenbach Gallery, the Carnegie Institute, Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the National Arts Club.
The majority of his artwork was not intended for commercial use with the exception of "Daydreams" which is his most famous image for this reason.
During the First World War, he did at least three posters including two large Liberty Bond canvases, which were displayed in department store windows.
Due to the lean years of the Great Depression there was no market for impressionist painting and there was little income from investments.
He gave up painting in 1944, giving away all of his art supplies and destroying many of his paintings on hand.
These haunting original paintings are painfully rare examples of Spear's poetic imagery.
Arthur Prince Spear is known for his imaginary paintings of nymphs, fauns and under-sea dwellers of an imaginary world of a very personal nature. Arthur Spear could be considered an "American Impressionist" yet he remains in a unique position...His art cannot be so easily classified and Spear belongs in a rare group of painters who have been in the minority of any generation in the history of American Art.