Saturday, September 22, 4 pm Lecture:- John McClellan: Reconstructing an Artist’s Career

John McClellan, Picnic

Patricia Phagan, the Straus Curator of Prints and Drawings
at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College,
will talk about the work of Woodstock artist John McClellan.
$12 / $8 members

Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, 28 Tinker St, Woodstock, NY 12498

Woodstock Artists Association & Museum website:

  845-679-2940 

John Ward McClellan was born in London in 1908 to American parents, settled in Woodstock, NY in the late 1930’s and proceeded to establish a national reputation, not only as an artist, but also as a sculptor, mathematician, and entymologist. McClellan’s work was deeply influenced by two incidents in his life – the horror he encountered in entering a concentration camp during World War II and his life long love of Spain and especially the poetry of Lorca. Works by McClellan appear in numerous public collections, including the WAAM Permanent Collection, the Whitney Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, and Smithsonian Museum of American Art. He died in 1986.

After receiving an early education in England, McClellan entered prep school in the U.S. and later attended Yale University with the intention of becoming a doctor. In 1930, he transferred to the School of the Boston Museum, then in 1932 attended the Academie Julien in Paris, followed by working trips through France, Spain and Mexico. Prior to World War II, McClellan married Doris Dubow and they came to Woodstock, where he had a studio and they raised two daughters.  He spent much time in the period before the war in producing lithographs printed for him by George Miller of New York and later his son.

Patricia Phagan has been researching McClellan’s life and career for the past year: “It has been a wonderful opportunity to bring to light once again the works of an interesting and significant artist of the American 1930s and 1940s.”

About Patricia Phagan

Patricia Phagan is the Philip and Lynn Straus Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College. She is in charge of more than 10,000 works in the permanent collection, including the Magoon Collection of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English watercolors, drawings, and prints. As a curator of prints and drawings for over twenty years, she has organized a number of exhibitions, including Thomas Rowlandson: Pleasures and Pursuits in Georgian England; British Watercolors from the West Foundation Collection; The American Scene and the South: Paintings and Works on Paper; Made in Woodstock: Printmaking from 1903 to 1945; and REMBRANDT: Treasures from the Rembrandt House, Amsterdam. Dr. Phagan has edited numerous catalogues on European and American prints and drawings and written widely, including the article, “Drawings at Vassar to ‘Illustrate the Loftiest Principles and Refine the Most Delighted Hearts,’” published in Master Drawings in 2004. She earned her B.A. in Painting and Drawing from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. In 2000 she received her Ph.D. in Art History from City University of New York Graduate Center with a dissertation on American political cartoons of the 1920s and 1930s.



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