15 April 1891|
Glenwood, Utah, United States
|Died||6 June 1990
Kaysville, Utah, United States
|Parent(s)||Isaac John Stewart and
Anna Eva Heppler
LeConte Stewart (April 15, 1891 – June 6, 1990) was a Mormon artist primarily known for his landscapes of rural Utah. His media included oils, watercolors, pastel and charcoal, as well as etchings, linocuts, and lithographs. His home/studio in Kaysville, Utah is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Stewart was born in Glenwood, Utah. His art education began in 1912 at the University of Utah, and included studies at the Art Students League summer school at Woodstock, New York, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Chester Springs. Stewart became the head of the Art Department at the University of Utah in 1938, and held that post until his retirement in 1956. Stewart died in Kaysville, Utah at the age of 99.
Stewart is best known for his unidealized landscapes of rural Utah, spawning the term "LeConte Stewart Country." Stewart is quoted as saying, "It is not that I love the lyrical in nature the less, but I feel that in modern life there is no time, no inclination for it. In these pictures I'm trying to cut a slice of contemporary life as it is in the highways and biways [sic] as I have found it." Some of Stewart's paintings have a photographic quality from a distance but are actually formed with broad strokes and a thick palette.
Much of his work uses direct impressionistic techniques to convey the meaning of what he saw around him, illustrating things "...that are introspective, that you peer into, that you understand and feel." Stewart stated: "Impressionism is the most important painting innovation of all time....I thought to myself, why not use this technique to express an idea rather than making it the end goal of a painting? I have tried to think of it as a means of interpreting landscaping rather than making it merely impressionistic."
Stewart described himself as having an urgency in his work. A plaque in the Kaysville Gallery of Art reads: "I had a great urgency to work as rapidly as possible. Each Saturday I painted one large 24-by-30-inch picture in the morning and another in the afternoon. Between I painted four smaller studies. Six was an average Saturday for me."
In addition to landscapes, Stewart also did portraiture and murals. He painted several murals for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) buildings, including works found inside the LDS temples in Hawaii, Alberta, and Arizona, as well as murals for the Salt Lake City International Airport and the historic Bigelow-Ben Lomond Hotel.
In 1985 the LDS Church published a collectors item titled LeConte Stewart: The spirit of landscape by Robert Davis, which documented some of his works. 7 November 2002 was declared as "LeConte Stewart Day" in Utah by then Governor Mike Leavitt.
The largest public exhibition of LeConte Stewart's work to date began in Salt Lake City on 21 July 2011 and is scheduled to run to 15 January 2012. It is being jointly hosted by the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the LDS Church History Museum, with concurrent shows at these museum's individual locations. This is the first collaboration of this kind for these institutions; each hold significant amount of fine art by Utah artists.
- Mormon art
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Davis County, Utah
- Springville Museum of Art
- Kaysville Cemetery Walking Tour (PDF), City of Kaysville, Utah
- Swanson, Vern G.; Olpin, Robert S.; Springville Museum of Art; Poulton, Donna L. (2001). Utah art, Utah artists: 150 year survey. Gibbs Smith. pp. 12, 48. ISBN 978-1-58685-111-8.
- "Former University of Utah art department chair reflected contempory [sic] life on his canvas", The Eagle (USU-College of Eastern Utah), 4 December 2003
- "Description of House by the Tracks Near Riverdale", Landscapes & Life: The Rural Settings of the Latter-day Saints (Church History Museum)
- Stone, Emily (16 March 2004), "Paintings bring rural Utah to life in the city", The Daily Universe (Brigham Young University)
- Davis, Robert O. (February 1985). "Desert, Brush, and Oil: A Portrait of LeConte Stewart". Ensign (LDS Church).
- "Description of Winter Road, Kaysville", Landscapes & Life: The Rural Settings of the Latter-day Saints (Church History Museum)
- "Celebrate the art of LeConte Stewart", Deseret News, 4 November 2002
- Wadley, Carma (16 July 2011), "UMFA, Church History Museum collaborate on LeConte Stewart exhibit", Deseret News
- Warchol, Glen (25 July 2011), "Iconic Utah painter LeConte Stewart’s work spotlighted in two exhibits", Salt Lake Tribune
- LeConte Stewart, Church History Department, LDS Church
- LeConte Stewart: About the Artist, Utah Museum of Fine Arts
- LeConte Stewart article at the Springville Museum of Art website
- LeConte LeConte Stewart, a biography by the Utah Artists Project, University of Utah
- Rebecca Jensen (4 December 2003), "CEU'S Brent Haddock selected to restrike LeConte Stewart etchings", The Eagle (USU-College of Eastern Utah)
- Dave Gagon (15 February 2004), "Museum features works of 2 Utah landscape artists", Deseret News
- Linda Marion (Winter 2009), "LeConte Stewart's West", Continuum (University of Utah) 19 (3)
- Oman, Richard G. (1992), "Artists, Visual", in Ludlow, Daniel H, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing, pp. 70–73, ISBN 0-02-879602-0, OCLC 24502140
- LeConte Stewart: Depression Era Art, Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) - one of the two web based companions to the joint UMFA-Church History Museum exhibitions from 21 July 2011 - 15 January 2012
- LeConte Stewart: The Soul of Rural Utah, Church History Museum, LDS Church - second web based companion to the joint UMFA-Church History Museum exhibitions from 21 July 2011 - 15 January 2012
- The LeConte Stewart Papers held at the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
- Kaysville Gallery of Art, LeConte Stewart Collection is part of the library in the old city hall building.
- "Exhibit home page", Landscapes & Life: The Rural Settings of the Latter-day Saints (Church History Museum)—Some examples of Stewart's work
- A few more examples of his work from Christian Nielsen
- Self Portrait located in the Church History Museum of the LDS Church
- Photo of Stewart later in life from the Utah State Historical Society
- LeConte Stewart - a 2nd grade lesson plan about local Kaysville heritage
- Works from the Permanent Collection of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts