The variety of subjects and spirited atmosphere of Atlantic City drew Beal to the popular vacation spot numerous times over the course of his career. Early views from the 1890s comprise drawings and small oils of vessels moored on calm waters, while those created in the 1910s and 1920s reveal his mature artistic style, as the bold palette and expressive brushwork of post-Impressionism took hold. A 1918 visit proved especially fruitful, resulting in watercolors, drawings, and several large canvases, such as The Inlet, Atlantic City. Capturing a less crowded part of the famed resort town, the composition exemplifies Beal’s fearless color choice and his animated paint application in rendering the lapping waves and windblown clouds, all coalescing to infuse the scene with a distinctive energy.
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Beal was an active member of the American art community and joined numerous organizations, including the Boston Art Club, the American Watercolor Society, and the Salmagundi Club, where he was awarded the Hurley Prize in 1902. He also helped establish the Society of Independent Artists and the New Society of Artists, a group of about fifty of the leading painters of the day, including Childe Hassam, Maurice Prendergast, and John Sloan. Beal held his first one-man show at the Clausen Gallery in New York City in 1905, and his second at Vose Galleries in 1916. He was elected an Associate Member of the National Academy of Design in 1909, and ten years later was honored to be one of a select group of American artists invited to exhibit at the Luxembourg Museum in Paris. Subsequent exhibitions, all well-attended and highly acclaimed, included displays at both the Milch and Kraushaar Galleries in New York City, and three solo shows after his death at Vose Galleries in 1973, 1975, and 1983. His work was included in exhibitions at the Corcoran Gallery, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the North Shore Arts Association, and today his paintings can be found in many museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, and the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.
Estate of Reynolds Beal
With Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. B-25, circa 1973
To private collection, Norfolk, Virginia, July 1975 to 2022
To a private trust of the above collector, 2022 to present
Previous Vose Galleries label, inventory no. B-25 (with no. 26132 handwritten in pencil nearby)
Reynolds Beal: Impressionist Landscapes and Seascapes (Cranbury, New Jersey: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1989), No. 141, p. 101
Reynolds Beal 1867-1951, Vose Galleries, Boston, October 1 – November 3, 1973, illustrated in black and white page 6