Chauncey Foster Ryder

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Chauncey Foster Ryder (1868–1949) was an early 20th century American Postimpressionist landscape painter known for a green-gray palette termed 'Ryder green'.

Education and personal life[edit]

Chauncey Foster Ryder was born in 1868 in Danbury, Connecticut, but grew up mainly in New Haven.[1][2] He began studying painting as a boy and in his early twenties moved to Chicago to attend the Art Institute[3] and then Smith's Academy.[4] After only a year at the latter, he was hired as an instructor.[4]

In 1891, he married Mary Dole Keith.[4]

In 1901, the couple moved to Paris, France, where Ryder continued his art education, studying with Jean-Paul Laurens at the Académie Julian. Ryder stayed in France for several years, living in art colony at Étaples and exhibiting his work at the Paris Salon (1903–1909).[2] He took on occasional students, including the American painter William Posey Silva.[4] His developing style was influenced both by the dramatic compositions of his friend and fellow painter Max Bohm[2] and by his admiration for the Japanese artist Hokusai.[5]

Painting career[edit]

In 1907, Ryder moved to New York City, where he was represented throughout his career by the art dealer William Macbeth.[2] His landscapes were admired for their vigorous brushwork and for the degree to which he pushed the representational elements towards abstraction.[6][2] He became known for a palette that leaned towards gray-green tones, and this eventually gave rise to use of the term 'Ryder green' to describe his typical color scheme.[5]

Ryder was a prolific artist who painted in both oil and watercolor. Around 1910 he began making prints, including lithographs, etchings, and drypoints.[4] His best drypoints exhibit great economy of line.[2]

Ryder opened a studio in the city in 1909, and the following year bought property in Wilton, New Hampshire. For the remainder of his life, he split his time between New York and New Hampshire.[4]

In 1910, he traveled throughout New England, which provided locales for many of his subsequent paintings. That same year, the future president Woodrow Wilson and his wife Ellen bought one of his landscapes, Valley of Assisi, to celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.[7]

Ryder was a member of several art associations, including the American Water Color Society and the Society for Sanity in Art.[5] Among his awards are the following: the Paris Salon (honorable mention, 1907), the American Water Color Society (gold medal), the National Arts Club (gold medal), and the New York Water Color Society (gold medal), plus awards at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition and the 1937 Paris International Exposition.[5]

Ryder died in Wilton in 1949 in Wilton, New Hampshire.[1] His work is in the collections of numerous American museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the National Portrait Gallery (Washington, D.C.), the Art Institute of Chicago (Illinois), and the Baltimore Museum of Art (Maryland).[5]


  1. ^ a b Baekeland, Frederick. Roads Less Traveled: American Paintings, 1833-1935, p. 70.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Limbach, Diana, and D. Roger Howlett. "Chauncey Foster Ryder". George Stern Fine Arts website, 2005.
  3. ^ Gerdts, William H., Diana Dimodica Sweet, and Robert R. Preato. Tonalism: An American Experience. Grand Central Art Galleries Art Education Association, 1982, p. 88.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Chauncy Foster Ryder". The Cooley Gallery, June 11, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e "American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery: Chauncy Foster Ryder". Dryads Green Gallery website.
  6. ^ Zellman, Michael David. American Art Analog: 1842–1874. 1986, p. 640.
  7. ^ Harris, Bill. The First Ladies Fact Book--Revised and Updated: The Childhoods, Courtships, Marriages, Campaigns, Accomplishments, and Legacies of Every First Lady from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama. Black Dog & Leventhal, 2012, p. 401.

Further reading[edit]

  • Pisano, Ronald G. "Chauncey Foster Ryder: Peace and Plenty." Art and Antiques (September–October 1978), pp. 76–83.