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James Augustus McLean Sold at Auction Prices

Painter, b. 1904 - d. 1989

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    • James Augustus McLean (American/North Carolina)
      Sep. 12, 2020

      James Augustus McLean (American/North Carolina)

      Est: $1,000 - $1,500

      James Augustus McLean (American/North Carolina, 1904-1989), "Figure Sketch - Female", oil on masonite, unsigned, artist label with title and "The Charleston Renaissance Gallery" label with artist and title en verso, 13 1/8 in. x 11 3/4 in., framed . Provenance: The Charleston Renaissance Gallery, Charleston, SC.

      Neal Auction Company
    • James Augustus McLean
      Jul. 10, 2020

      James Augustus McLean

      Est: $300 - $400

      James Augustus McLean (North Carolina, 1904-1989) BESIDE THE STILL WATERS, 1988 oil on panel, framed, signed, titled & dated H24 1/4" W28 1/2" Provenance: Private collection

      Charlton Hall
    • James Augustus McLean (NC, 1904-1989), Moonlight
      Dec. 01, 2012

      James Augustus McLean (NC, 1904-1989), Moonlight

      Est: $200 - $400

      James Augustus McLean (NC, 1904-1989), Moonlight oil on board, signed at lower right, moonlit landscape, presented in a silver tone frame. SS 23 x 29.5 in.; DOA 29 x 35.5 in. Estate of the Artist Very minor crazing to surface.

      Leland Little Auctions
    • James Augustus McLean (NC, 1904-1989), Live Oaks
      Dec. 01, 2012

      James Augustus McLean (NC, 1904-1989), Live Oaks

      Est: $200 - $400

      James Augustus McLean (NC, 1904-1989), Live Oaks oil on board, signed at lower right, retaining the artist's original label on the verso with the title "Old Live Oaks, Pamlico Sound, NC," presented in a later silver tone frame. SS 23.5 x 15 in.; DOA 29.5 x 21 in. Estate of the Artist No apparent condition concerns.

      Leland Little Auctions
    • James Augustus McLean (NC, 1904-1989), Portrait
      Dec. 01, 2012

      James Augustus McLean (NC, 1904-1989), Portrait

      Est: $200 - $400

      James Augustus McLean (NC, 1904-1989), Portrait oil on canvas, signed at lower left and on the verso, with Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts stamp on the verso, painted circa 1920, quarter length portrait of a woman in gray, presented in later silver tone frame. SS 21.5 x 21.5 in.; DOA 26.5 x 26.5 in. Estate of the Artist No apparent condition concerns.

      Leland Little Auctions
    • James Augustus McLean
      Sep. 15, 2012

      James Augustus McLean

      Est: $400 - $800

      (North Carolina, 1904-1989)Trees of Fort Fisher, unsigned, oil on Masonite, 36-3/4 x 46 in.; black frame, dry surface, draw crackle, accretion Provenance: Private Collection

      Brunk Auctions
    • James Augustus McLean, American, (1904-1989), "Figure Study", charcoal on paper, Sight image 22 1/2" H x 11 1/2" W, framed.
      Apr. 14, 2012

      James Augustus McLean, American, (1904-1989), "Figure Study", charcoal on paper, Sight image 22 1/2" H x 11 1/2" W, framed.

      Est: $150 - $200

      James Augustus McLean American, (1904-1989) "Figure Study" charcoal on paper Signed lower left and dated 1968. Some foxing and rippling to paper. James Augustus McLean was born in North Carolina as the seventh son of a stone cutter. When his father died in 1923 it seemed that McLean's future was a life in the local cotton mill rather than an art studio but on a wild, desperate chance he sent an application to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. McLean was accepted and spent the next five years studying in Pennsylvania. A scholarship allowed him to also travel to Italy, France, Germany, and the Netherlands for further art study. In 1929 McLean was recruited to teach at the Southern School of Creative Arts in Raleigh, North Carolina. The stock market crash hindered the success of the Southern School but McLean and school's dance teacher were married in 1930. During the Depression McLean also participated in the Federal Arts Project and painted a number of murals in North Carolina. McLean's personal artwork was frequently inspired by the local landscape as well as his early Impressionist training in Philadelphia. Sight image 22 1/2" H x 11 1/2" W, framed.

      Harlowe-Powell Auction Gallery
    • James McLean (NC, 1904-1989), "Weeping Willow"
      Jun. 18, 2011

      James McLean (NC, 1904-1989), "Weeping Willow"

      Est: $600 - $900

      oil on masonite, signed and dated at lower right "James Augustus McLean / '62," titled on the verso, housed in an attractive gold washed wood frame.SS 20 x 22 in.; DOA 29.5 x 30.5 in. From the artist's estate

      Leland Little Auctions
    • James Augustus McLean (American, 1904-1989), "Wash
      Nov. 21, 2010

      James Augustus McLean (American, 1904-1989), "Wash

      Est: $30,000 - $50,000

      James Augustus McLean (American, 1904-1989), "Wash Day", oil on canvas, signed lower right, with a "23rd Southeastern Annual Exhibition The High Museum of Art, Atlanta" and "The Charleston Renaissance Gallery, Charleston, SC" labels en verso, 40 1/2 in. x 50 1/4 in., in a giltwood frame.

      Neal Auction Company
    • James Augustus McLean (American, 1904-1989) The Gold of Autumn Signed "JAMES AUGUSTUS McLEAN" l.r., oil on panel, 24 1/2 x 21 1/2 in.,
      Apr. 14, 2010

      James Augustus McLean (American, 1904-1989) The Gold of Autumn Signed "JAMES AUGUSTUS McLEAN" l.r., oil on panel, 24 1/2 x 21 1/2 in.,

      Est: $1,000 - $1,500

      James Augustus McLean (American, 1904-1989) The Gold of Autumn Signed "JAMES AUGUSTUS McLEAN" l.r., oil on panel, 24 1/2 x 21 1/2 in., framed. Condition: Craquelure, with one vertical crack running the height of the composition on the left.

      Skinner
    • James Augustus McLean (American 1904-1989), Rainy Street Scene, North Carolina, oil on board, 19-3/4 x 23-1/4 in
      Dec. 05, 2009

      James Augustus McLean (American 1904-1989), Rainy Street Scene, North Carolina, oil on board, 19-3/4 x 23-1/4 in

      Est: $500 - $700

      James Augustus McLean (American 1904-1989) Rainy Street Scene, North Carolina Unsigned Oil on board 19-3/4 x 23-1/4 in (50.2 x 59.1 cm)

      Weschler's
    • JAMES AUGUSTUS MCLEAN (American, b. 1904). THE BLACKSMITH, signed and dated '87 lower left. Oil on board.
      Nov. 15, 2009

      JAMES AUGUSTUS MCLEAN (American, b. 1904). THE BLACKSMITH, signed and dated '87 lower left. Oil on board.

      Est: $2,000 - $3,000

      JAMES AUGUSTUS MCLEAN (American, b. 1904). THE BLACKSMITH, signed and dated '87 lower left. Oil on board - Framed, 48 in. x 60 in.

      Sloans & Kenyon
    • James McLean (NC, 1904-1989), Old Shoes
      Sep. 19, 2009

      James McLean (NC, 1904-1989), Old Shoes

      Est: $300 - $600

      oil on canvas, signed and dated lower right "James Augustus McLean / '27," housed in a later gilt frame. SS 17.5 x 19.5 in.; DOA 24 x 26 in. Estate Collection of the late W. Samuel Tarlton

      Leland Little Auctions
    • James McLean (NC, 1904-1989), Chester Springs
      Sep. 19, 2009

      James McLean (NC, 1904-1989), Chester Springs

      Est: $600 - $900

      oil on masonite, signed lower right "James Augustus McLean," retaining artist's original label on the verso with the title "A Memory of Chester Springs, Penna," housed in later frame. SS 18.5 x 23.5 in.; DOA 25 x 30 in. Estate Collection of the late W. Samuel Tarlton

      Leland Little Auctions
    • James McLean (NC, 1904-1989), "Down by the Tracks"
      Sep. 19, 2009

      James McLean (NC, 1904-1989), "Down by the Tracks"

      Est: $1,000 - $3,000

      oil on masonite, signed lower left "James Augustus McLean," retains the original label listing the title "Down by the Tracks" and the artist's address at 106 Logan Court in Raleigh, housed in a later frame. SS 23.5 x 21.5 in; DOA 29.75 x 27.75 in. Estate Collection of the late W. Samuel Tarlton

      Leland Little Auctions
    • James Augustus McLean (American, 1904-1989) Iron City, Pennsylvania, c. 1927 Signed or inscri...
      May. 15, 2009

      James Augustus McLean (American, 1904-1989) Iron City, Pennsylvania, c. 1927 Signed or inscri...

      Est: $2,000 - $4,000

      James Augustus McLean (American, 1904-1989) Iron City, Pennsylvania, c. 1927 Signed or inscribed "J.A. MCLEAN..." and stamped "REGISTERED AT THE PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF THE FINE ARTS/CHESTER SPRINGS, PA" on the reverse. Oil on canvas, 28 x 30 in. (71.1 x 76.2 cm), framed. Condition: Minor surface grime and losses.

      Skinner
    • JAMES AUGUSTUS MCLEAN (American, b. 1904). THE BLACKSMITH, signed and dated '87 lower left. Oil on board.
      Apr. 26, 2009

      JAMES AUGUSTUS MCLEAN (American, b. 1904). THE BLACKSMITH, signed and dated '87 lower left. Oil on board.

      Est: $2,500 - $3,500

      JAMES AUGUSTUS MCLEAN (American, b. 1904). THE BLACKSMITH, signed and dated '87 lower left. Oil on board - Framed, 48 in. x 60 in.

      Sloans & Kenyon
    • JAMES AUGUSTUS MCLEAN (American, 1904-1989). CAFE PARIS, signed and dated '32 lower right. Oil on canvas.
      Sep. 13, 2008

      JAMES AUGUSTUS MCLEAN (American, 1904-1989). CAFE PARIS, signed and dated '32 lower right. Oil on canvas.

      Est: $400 - $600

      JAMES AUGUSTUS MCLEAN (American, 1904-1989). CAFE PARIS, signed and dated '32 lower right. Oil on canvas - Framed, 26 in. x 28 in.

      Sloans & Kenyon
    • James A. McLean (NC, 1904 - 1989), Two Works,two
      Jun. 14, 2008

      James A. McLean (NC, 1904 - 1989), Two Works,two

      Est: $300 - $500

      James A. McLean (NC, 1904 - 1989), Two Works,two architectural linocut prints as follows: "North Raleigh," titled in lower left margin, signed "James A. McLean" in lower right margin, SS 6.5" x 7.75", in modern 12.5" x 13" mat having Charleston Renaissance Gallery label en verso. "Dutch Settlement," titled in lower left margin, signed "James A. McLean '30" in lower right margin, SS 7.5" x 8", in modern mat, 12.5" x 13" . James A. McLean, a North Carolina native, studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He was particularly active as an impressionist painter of landscapes and of African-Americans.

      Leland Little Auctions
    • James Augustus McLean
      Apr. 01, 2007

      James Augustus McLean

      Est: $600 - $900

      James Augustus McLean North Carolina (1904-1989) THE OLD FISHERMEN'S HUT oil on panel, framed, signed: lower right H16" W20 1/2"

      Charlton Hall
    • James Augustus McLean
      Sep. 10, 2006

      James Augustus McLean

      Est: $600 - $900

      FISH HOUSE-PAMLICO SOUND, NC oil on panel, framed signed & titled: lower right and verso

      Charlton Hall
    • McLean, James Augustus
      Apr. 23, 2006

      McLean, James Augustus

      Est: $500 - $800

      McLean, James Augustus North Carolina (1904-1989) BESIDE THE STILL WATERS oil on panel, framed signed & dated: lower right, 88 H24 1/4" W28 1/2" *Artist biography: Born in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the seventh child of a stonecutter, James McLean was raised in North Carolina. Though he began drawing at an early age, he had little opportunity to pursue a career in art, since the subject was not taught in the North Carolina schools at that time, not even in Chapel Hill, where McLean spent his first year of college in 1922. Following the death of his father in 1923, McLean was offered a job in a local cotton mill. Desperate to study art, he answered a magazine ad, placed by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. The ad assured that part-time jobs would be available for needy students. Though he was convinced that he had no chance, McLean sent an application, along with a sketch of one of his neighbors, to Philadelphia. He began classes at the Academy's summer school at Chester Springs in April 1923 and spent the next five years there and in Philadelphia, where he studied under Daniel Garber, Charles Garner, and Joseph Pearson. In 1926 he won the coveted Cresson Traveling Scholarship, which enabled him to spend the summer in Italy, Paris, Germany and the Netherlands. During that time, McLean seems to have acquired a great admiration for the Pennsylvania landscape artists, particularly Garber, whose version of impressionism---modified by a traditional attention to draftsmanship and well organized composition---remained a model throughout his career. Offered a teaching position at the conclusion of his senior year, McLean was prepared to stay in Philadelphia when a group of visitors from the newly-formed North Carolina State Society convinced him to return to North Carolina to help set up an art school. The Southern School of Creative Arts opened in Raleigh in the fall of 1929 with McLean its only teacher. Taking a cue from the academy, he made plans to hold classes on the coast the following summer. The stock market crash and the depression that followed put his plans on hold. Most of the students dropped out before the semester began, but McLean remained, even hiring a young dance teacher, whom he married in 1930. When the WPA came to North Carolina in the mid-1930s, McLean joined the Federal Arts Project (FAP). He painted murals in different parts of the state and taught classes to the general public. Initially, the state's WPA officials allowed artists to select projects that they especially wanted to create. McLean decided to paint murals for the four walls of the library rotunda at State College (now North Carolina State University). The sketches for the murals were unanimously approved, but the modern style of their execution was rejected, and in 1941, they were removed. Three of the four were subsequently lost. McLean painted two other sets of murals for the WPA: two for Greensboro's Grimsley High School; another for the Charles Cannon Library in Concord. In addition to his mural work, McLean supervised the programs for the Art Center in Raleigh, which opened on May 1, 1936, and produced his own work. Though he has not been the subject of scholarly attention, recent market activity indicates that he was active during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, and that he painted a variety of subjects. Like Garber, his favorite motif seems to have been the landscape surrounding his home. His views of Blowing Rock and Smokey Hollow, composed with distinctive foreground trees which separate the fore, middle and far grounds, are particularly attractive. However, McLean's work also differs from Garber because in the majority of his landscapes, architecture plays a dominant role. Like other artists of his generation, McLean vacillated between Impressionism and more avant-garde methods, and while he continued to paint in an Impressionist style throughout his career, he experimented with a variety of others, including Cubism, often settling into techniques of decorative patterning while still maintaining a strong sense of realism. McLean lived long enough to see most of the experiences he had valued come into being. North Carolina opened the North Carolina School of Arts in Winston-Salem. A fine arts department was begun in Chapel Hill, and State College in Raleigh started its School of Design. Most important to McLean, art became a basic course in the public schools of North Carolina. The artist was honored in several local exhibitions in the early 1980s. He died in Raleigh in 1989.

      Charlton Hall
    • McLean, James Augustus
      Apr. 23, 2006

      McLean, James Augustus

      Est: $500 - $700

      McLean, James Augustus North Carolina (1904-1989) LATE AFTERNOON oil on board, framed signed: lower right, bearing label on verso H20" W23 1/2" *Artist biography: Born in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the seventh child of a stonecutter, James McLean was raised in North Carolina. Though he began drawing at an early age, he had little opportunity to pursue a career in art, since the subject was not taught in the North Carolina schools at that time, not even in Chapel Hill, where McLean spent his first year of college in 1922. Following the death of his father in 1923, McLean was offered a job in a local cotton mill. Desperate to study art, he answered a magazine ad, placed by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. The ad assured that part-time jobs would be available for needy students. Though he was convinced that he had no chance, McLean sent an application, along with a sketch of one of his neighbors, to Philadelphia. He began classes at the Academy's summer school at Chester Springs in April 1923 and spent the next five years there and in Philadelphia, where he studied under Daniel Garber, Charles Garner, and Joseph Pearson. In 1926 he won the coveted Cresson Traveling Scholarship, which enabled him to spend the summer in Italy, Paris, Germany and the Netherlands. During that time, McLean seems to have acquired a great admiration for the Pennsylvania landscape artists, particularly Garber, whose version of impressionism---modified by a traditional attention to draftsmanship and well organized composition---remained a model throughout his career. Offered a teaching position at the conclusion of his senior year, McLean was prepared to stay in Philadelphia when a group of visitors from the newly-formed North Carolina State Society convinced him to return to North Carolina to help set up an art school. The Southern School of Creative Arts opened in Raleigh in the fall of 1929 with McLean its only teacher. Taking a cue from the academy, he made plans to hold classes on the coast the following summer. The stock market crash and the depression that followed put his plans on hold. Most of the students dropped out before the semester began, but McLean remained, even hiring a young dance teacher, whom he married in 1930. When the WPA came to North Carolina in the mid-1930s, McLean joined the Federal Arts Project (FAP). He painted murals in different parts of the state and taught classes to the general public. Initially, the state's WPA officials allowed artists to select projects that they especially wanted to create. McLean decided to paint murals for the four walls of the library rotunda at State College (now North Carolina State University). The sketches for the murals were unanimously approved, but the modern style of their execution was rejected, and in 1941, they were removed. Three of the four were subsequently lost. McLean painted two other sets of murals for the WPA: two for Greensboro's Grimsley High School; another for the Charles Cannon Library in Concord. In addition to his mural work, McLean supervised the programs for the Art Center in Raleigh, which opened on May 1, 1936, and produced his own work. Though he has not been the subject of scholarly attention, recent market activity indicates that he was active during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, and that he painted a variety of subjects. Like Garber, his favorite motif seems to have been the landscape surrounding his home. His views of Blowing Rock and Smokey Hollow, composed with distinctive foreground trees which separate the fore, middle and far grounds, are particularly attractive. However, McLean's work also differs from Garber because in the majority of his landscapes, architecture plays a dominant role. Like other artists of his generation, McLean vacillated between Impressionism and more avant-garde methods, and while he continued to paint in an Impressionist style throughout his career, he experimented with a variety of others, including Cubism, often settling into techniques of decorative patterning while still maintaining a strong sense of realism. McLean lived long enough to see most of the experiences he had valued come into being. North Carolina opened the North Carolina School of Arts in Winston-Salem. A fine arts department was begun in Chapel Hill, and State College in Raleigh started its School of Design. Most important to McLean, art became a basic course in the public schools of North Carolina. The artist was honored in several local exhibitions in the early 1980s. He died in Raleigh in 1989.

      Charlton Hall
    • McLean, James Augustus
      Feb. 11, 2006

      McLean, James Augustus

      Est: $600 - $900

      McLean, James Augustus North Carolina (1904-1989) SURF FISHING-NORTH CAROLINA oil on board, framed signed: lower right H18" W24" *Artist biography: Born in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the seventh child of a stone cutter, James McLean was raised in North Carolina. Though he began drawing at an early age, he had little opportunity to pursue a career in art, since the subject was not taught in the North Carolina schools at that time, not even in Chapel Hill, where McLean spent his first year of college in 1922. Following the death of his father, in 1923, McLean was offered a job in a local cotton mill. Desperate to study art, he answered a magazine ad, placed by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. The ad assured that part time jobs would be available for needy students. Though he was convinced that he had no chance, McLean sent an application, along with a sketch of one of his neighbors, to Philadelphia. He began classes at the Academy's summer school at Chester Springs in April 1923 and spent the next five years there, and in Philadelphia, where he studied under Daniel Garber, Charles Garner, and Joseph Pearson. In 1926 he won the coveted Cresson Traveling Scholarship, which enabled him to spend the summer in Italy, Paris, Germany, and the Netherlands. During that time, McLean seems to have acquired a great admiration for the Pennsylvania landscape artists, particularly Garber, whose version of impressionism---modified by a traditional attention to draftsmanship and well organized composition---remained a model throughout his career. Offered a teaching position at the conclusion of his senior year, McLean was prepared to stay in Philadelphia when a group of visitors from the newly formed North Carolina State Society convinced him to return to North Carolina to help set up an art school. The Southern School of Creative Arts opened in Raleigh in the fall of 1929 with McLean its only teacher. Taking a cue from the academy, he made plans to hold classes on the coast the following summer. The stock market crash and the depression that followed put his plans on hold. Most of the students dropped out before the semester began, but McLean remained, even hiring a young dance teacher, whom he married in 1930. When the WPA came to North Carolina in the mid-1930s, McLean joined the Federal Arts Project (FAP). He painted murals in different parts of the state and taught classes to the general public. Initially, the state's WPA officials allowed artists to select projects that they especially wanted to create. McLean decided to paint murals for the four walls of the library rotunda at State College (now North Carolina State University). The sketches for the murals were unanimously approved, but the modern style of their execution was rejected, and in 1941, they were removed. Three of the four were subsequently lost. McLean painted two other sets of murals for the WPA: two for Greensboro's Grimsley High School; another for the Charles Cannon Library in Concord. In addition to his mural work, McLean supervised the programs for the Art Center in Raleigh, which opened on May 1, 1936, and produced his own work. Though he has not been the subject of scholarly attention, recent market activity indicates that he was active during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, and that he painted a variety of subjects. Like Garber, his favorite motif seems to have been the landscape surrounding his home. His views of Blowing Rock and Smokey Hollow, composed with distinctive foreground trees which separate the fore, middle, and far grounds, are particularly attractive. However, McLean's work also differs from Garber because in the majority of his landscapes, architecture plays a dominant role. Like other artists of his generation, McLean vacillated between impressionism and more avant-garde methods, and while he continued to paint in an impressionist style throughout his career, he experimented with a variety of others, including cubism, often settling into techniques of decorative patterning while still maintaining a strong sense of realism. McLean lived long enough to see most of the experiences he had valued come into being. North Carolina opened the North Carolina School of Arts in Winston-Salem. A fine arts department was begun in Chapel Hill, and State College in Raleigh started its School of Design. Most important to McLean, art became a basic course in the public schools of North Carolina. The artist was honored in several local exhibitions in the early 1980s. He died in Raleigh in 1989.

      Charlton Hall
    • McLean, James Augustus
      Feb. 11, 2006

      McLean, James Augustus

      Est: $600 - $900

      McLean, James Augustus North Carolina (1904-1989) LATE OCTOBER oil on panel, framed signed & titled: lower right and verso H21 3/4" W28" *Artist biography: Born in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the seventh child of a stone cutter, James McLean was raised in North Carolina. Though he began drawing at an early age, he had little opportunity to pursue a career in art, since the subject was not taught in the North Carolina schools at that time, not even in Chapel Hill, where McLean spent his first year of college in 1922. Following the death of his father, in 1923, McLean was offered a job in a local cotton mill. Desperate to study art, he answered a magazine ad, placed by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. The ad assured that part time jobs would be available for needy students. Though he was convinced that he had no chance, McLean sent an application, along with a sketch of one of his neighbors, to Philadelphia. He began classes at the Academy's summer school at Chester Springs in April 1923 and spent the next five years there, and in Philadelphia, where he studied under Daniel Garber, Charles Garner, and Joseph Pearson. In 1926 he won the coveted Cresson Traveling Scholarship, which enabled him to spend the summer in Italy, Paris, Germany, and the Netherlands. During that time, McLean seems to have acquired a great admiration for the Pennsylvania landscape artists, particularly Garber, whose version of impressionism---modified by a traditional attention to draftsmanship and well organized composition---remained a model throughout his career. Offered a teaching position at the conclusion of his senior year, McLean was prepared to stay in Philadelphia when a group of visitors from the newly formed North Carolina State Society convinced him to return to North Carolina to help set up an art school. The Southern School of Creative Arts opened in Raleigh in the fall of 1929 with McLean its only teacher. Taking a cue from the academy, he made plans to hold classes on the coast the following summer. The stock market crash and the depression that followed put his plans on hold. Most of the students dropped out before the semester began, but McLean remained, even hiring a young dance teacher, whom he married in 1930. When the WPA came to North Carolina in the mid-1930s, McLean joined the Federal Arts Project (FAP). He painted murals in different parts of the state and taught classes to the general public. Initially, the state's WPA officials allowed artists to select projects that they especially wanted to create. McLean decided to paint murals for the four walls of the library rotunda at State College (now North Carolina State University). The sketches for the murals were unanimously approved, but the modern style of their execution was rejected, and in 1941, they were removed. Three of the four were subsequently lost. McLean painted two other sets of murals for the WPA: two for Greensboro's Grimsley High School; another for the Charles Cannon Library in Concord. In addition to his mural work, McLean supervised the programs for the Art Center in Raleigh, which opened on May 1, 1936, and produced his own work. Though he has not been the subject of scholarly attention, recent market activity indicates that he was active during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, and that he painted a variety of subjects. Like Garber, his favorite motif seems to have been the landscape surrounding his home. His views of Blowing Rock and Smokey Hollow, composed with distinctive foreground trees which separate the fore, middle, and far grounds, are particularly attractive. However, McLean's work also differs from Garber because in the majority of his landscapes, architecture plays a dominant role. Like other artists of his generation, McLean vacillated between impressionism and more avant-garde methods, and while he continued to paint in an impressionist style throughout his career, he experimented with a variety of others, including cubism, often settling into techniques of decorative patterning while still maintaining a strong sense of realism. McLean lived long enough to see most of the experiences he had valued come into being. North Carolina opened the North Carolina School of Arts in Winston-Salem. A fine arts department was begun in Chapel Hill, and State College in Raleigh started its School of Design. Most important to McLean, art became a basic course in the public schools of North Carolina. The artist was honored in several local exhibitions in the early 1980s. He died in Raleigh in 1989.

      Charlton Hall
    • McLean, James Augustus
      Feb. 11, 2006

      McLean, James Augustus

      Est: $600 - $900

      McLean, James Augustus North Carolina (1904-1989) FISH HOUSE-PAMLICO SOUND, NC oil on panel, framed signed & titled: lower right and verso H16" W20" *Artist biography: Born in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the seventh child of a stone cutter, James McLean was raised in North Carolina. Though he began drawing at an early age, he had little opportunity to pursue a career in art, since the subject was not taught in the North Carolina schools at that time, not even in Chapel Hill, where McLean spent his first year of college in 1922. Following the death of his father, in 1923, McLean was offered a job in a local cotton mill. Desperate to study art, he answered a magazine ad, placed by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. The ad assured that part time jobs would be available for needy students. Though he was convinced that he had no chance, McLean sent an application, along with a sketch of one of his neighbors, to Philadelphia. He began classes at the Academy's summer school at Chester Springs in April 1923 and spent the next five years there, and in Philadelphia, where he studied under Daniel Garber, Charles Garner, and Joseph Pearson. In 1926 he won the coveted Cresson Traveling Scholarship, which enabled him to spend the summer in Italy, Paris, Germany, and the Netherlands. During that time, McLean seems to have acquired a great admiration for the Pennsylvania landscape artists, particularly Garber, whose version of impressionism---modified by a traditional attention to draftsmanship and well organized composition---remained a model throughout his career. Offered a teaching position at the conclusion of his senior year, McLean was prepared to stay in Philadelphia when a group of visitors from the newly formed North Carolina State Society convinced him to return to North Carolina to help set up an art school. The Southern School of Creative Arts opened in Raleigh in the fall of 1929 with McLean its only teacher. Taking a cue from the academy, he made plans to hold classes on the coast the following summer. The stock market crash and the depression that followed put his plans on hold. Most of the students dropped out before the semester began, but McLean remained, even hiring a young dance teacher, whom he married in 1930. When the WPA came to North Carolina in the mid-1930s, McLean joined the Federal Arts Project (FAP). He painted murals in different parts of the state and taught classes to the general public. Initially, the state's WPA officials allowed artists to select projects that they especially wanted to create. McLean decided to paint murals for the four walls of the library rotunda at State College (now North Carolina State University). The sketches for the murals were unanimously approved, but the modern style of their execution was rejected, and in 1941, they were removed. Three of the four were subsequently lost. McLean painted two other sets of murals for the WPA: two for Greensboro's Grimsley High School; another for the Charles Cannon Library in Concord. In addition to his mural work, McLean supervised the programs for the Art Center in Raleigh, which opened on May 1, 1936, and produced his own work. Though he has not been the subject of scholarly attention, recent market activity indicates that he was active during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, and that he painted a variety of subjects. Like Garber, his favorite motif seems to have been the landscape surrounding his home. His views of Blowing Rock and Smokey Hollow, composed with distinctive foreground trees which separate the fore, middle, and far grounds, are particularly attractive. However, McLean's work also differs from Garber because in the majority of his landscapes, architecture plays a dominant role. Like other artists of his generation, McLean vacillated between impressionism and more avant-garde methods, and while he continued to paint in an impressionist style throughout his career, he experimented with a variety of others, including cubism, often settling into techniques of decorative patterning while still maintaining a strong sense of realism. McLean lived long enough to see most of the experiences he had valued come into being. North Carolina opened the North Carolina School of Arts in Winston-Salem. A fine arts department was begun in Chapel Hill, and State College in Raleigh started its School of Design. Most important to McLean, art became a basic course in the public schools of North Carolina. The artist was honored in several local exhibitions in the early 1980s. He died in Raleigh in 1989.

      Charlton Hall
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