Charles Walter Stetson

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Charles Walter Stetson
Formal portrait of Charles Walter Stetson, ca. 1884.
Formal portrait of Charles Walter Stetson, c. 1884
Born(1858-03-25)March 25, 1858
DiedJuly 21, 1911(1911-07-21) (aged 53)
(m. 1884; div. 1894)

Charles Walter Stetson (1858–1911) was an American artist often described as a "colorist" for his rich use of color.


Stetson was born in Tiverton Four Corners, Rhode Island on March 25, 1858.[1] His father was a Baptist preacher, and the family faced economic worries.[2]

Stetson was a self-taught painter.[2] At the age of 14 he began painting, and at the age of 20 he opened his own studio in Providence, Rhode Island.[2] He became friends with fellow artists Edward Bannister and George William Whitaker. Their meetings together resulted in the founding of the Providence Art Club on February 19, 1880.[2]

He married Charlotte Perkins in 1884. Their only child was born in 1885, they were separated in 1888, and they divorced amicably in 1894. Not long after, Stetson married Charlotte's cousin and closest friend, poet Grace Ellery Channing.[2] After marrying Grace, Stetson moved to California, and then in 1901 they moved to Rome, Italy.[2]

Stetson died in Rome, Italy, in 1911.[1][2]

Influence and legacy[edit]

Stetson was more widely known outside of the state than other Rhode Island artists of his time.[3] His work stood out for its allegorical, imaginative qualities and greater richness of color.[3]


Stetson was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 2011.[2]


  1. ^ a b American Art Annual, Volume 9. MacMillan Company. 1911. p. 318.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Inductee Details: Charles Walter Stetson". Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on April 17, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Workers of the Federal Writers' Project of the WPA for the State of Rhode Island (1937). Rhode Island, a Guide to the Smallest State. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 153. ISBN 9781623760380. Retrieved April 18, 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Endure: The Diaries of Charles Walter Stetson, edited by Mary Armfield Hill, Temple University Press (1985) ISBN 0-87722-373-4
  • The Diaries of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, edited by Denise D. Knight, University Press of Virginia (1994) ISBN 0-8139-1524-4

External links[edit]