Edward H. Betts was a member of the National
Academy of Design and the American Watercolor Society, and was a professor
emeritus of art at the University of Illinois. He held a BA degree in History
of Art from Yale University and an MFA in painting from the University of
Illinois. Born in 1920 and brought up in Yonkers, he attended summer sessions
at the Art Students League from 1935 to 1942, and as a full-time student
there from 1946 to 1948, joining the University of Illinois School of Art
and Design in 1949.
Betts was represented in virtually every important national exhibition, including major surveys of contemporary American painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, as well as other national exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, Denver Art Museum, San Francisco Art Museum and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. His paintings were included in international exchange exhibitions in Japan, Brazil, England, Mexico, Australia, and Canada.
He received more than seventy exhibition awards, is a three-time winner of the First Altman Landscape Prize at the National Academy of Design and seven awards at the American Watercolor Society, including two Silver Medals of Honor. His work is represented in sixty public and corporate collections, such as the Fogg Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Portland (Me.) Museum of Art, Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company, Continental Grain Company, Prudential Life Insurance Company, and Tupperware International.
Though he was best known for his abstractions, in American Artist Magazine (Feb. 1983) he was included in their article THE LIVING LEGENDS OF AMERICAN WATERCOLOR by Diane Casella Hines. This article takes a look at 14 artists who in their long and distinguished careers have made significant contributions to the development of American watercolor painting: Andrew Wyeth, Dong Kingman, Mario Cooper, Chen Chi, Edgar A. Whitney, Phil Dike, Millard Sheets, Ogden M. Pleissner, John C. Pellew, Donald Teague, Joseph Henninger, Edward Betts, Edmond J. FitzGerald, and Rex Brandt.
American Artist Magazine (Feb. 1983) Click on images below for large image.
American Artist Magazine (March 1955) Click on images below for large
Interesting Note: Most of the issue was printed in black-and-white. One of two full-color pages was devoted to Betts painting.
Betts is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American
He authored Master Class in Watercolor; Creative Landscape Painting; Creative Seascape Painting; and Master Class in Water Media, a revision of the earlier Master Class, all published by Watson Guptill.
Summertime 40" x 17.5"
Ice Fall 21" x 29"
In the Summertime (triptych) three 36" x 36"
Coastal Horizons 31" x 44"
Public and Corporate Collections
Fogg Museum of Art, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia
National Academy of Design, New York City
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut
Indianapolis Art Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana
La Jolla Art Center, La Jolla, California
Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine
William A. Farnsworth Library and Museum, Rockland, Maine
Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, Missouri
Davenport Municipal Art Gallery, Davenport, Iowa
Davis Art Gallery, Stephens College, Missouri
University of Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, New York
Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit, Maine
Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia
California Watercolor Society, Los Angeles, California
Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
Irving Trust Company, New York City
Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company, New Jersey
Continental Grain Company, New York City
United Virginia State Planters Bank, Richmond, Virginia
Prudential Life Insurance Company, Newark, New Jersey
Tupperware International, Orlando, Florida
The Southland Corporation, Dallas, Texas
McDonald's Headquarters, Oakbrook, Illinois
First National Bank, Boston, Massachusetts
Transco Energy, Houston, Texas
Central Trust Bank, Jefferson City, Missouri
Casco Bank and Trust Company, Portland, Maine
United States Information Agency, Art in the Embassies Program
Hollister Corporation, Libertyville, Illinois
Angus Chemical Company, Northbrook, Illinois
North American Rockwell, El Segundo, California
Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, Cleveland, Ohio
Lincoln National Life Insurance, Fort Wayne, Indiana
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