William Shattuck: Reveries - New Bedford Whaling Museum
An oil painting of a marsh on the water.

William Shattuck: Reveries

This exhibition highlights the artist's evocative, moody landscape paintings, often referencing the pastoral surroundings of his Dartmouth, MA home.

William Shattuck: Reveries

Big Braitmayer Gallery

Opened: June 3, 2022

Closed: January 1, 2023

CAPTION: (above) “Moment," by Bill Shattuck

Exhibition Opening and Reception

Thursday, June 2
5:00 - 6:00pm

Join artist, William Shattuck, and New Bedford Whaling Museum Chief Curator, Naomi Slipp, as they discuss Shattuck's exhibition, Reveries. Meet the artist and enjoy light refreshments.

“Drawn in by color, composition and light, I find I’m also inspired just as easily by the temperature, the character of the air and atmosphere in the moment. I am not a Plein Air painter by any means, but I do spend a good deal of time walking through the fields, woods and marshes along this shoreline, noting the beauty and interplay between land, water and sky. I’ll sometimes make a line drawing with color notes, then eventually execute a finished piece in my studio.” -- Shattuck

William Shattuck lives in Southeastern Massachusetts. His paintings reflect a fascination with the tidal marshes, estuaries and woodlands along that coastline. Having moved there in 1980 from New York, he has appreciated the changing patterns of light and weather throughout different seasons and times of day.

This exhibition features Shattuck’s evocative, moody landscape paintings. Shattuck employs careful brushwork and layered glazes to capture early morning light, haze on the marsh, or eerie glow of twilight on darkened tree trunks. His works evoke the attention to detail of the French Barbizon school, the impressionist studies of light and time by Claude Monet, and the luminescent glow of Maxfield Parrish.

These large-scale oil on canvas paintings render the scenery around his Dartmouth home as if attendant to verisimilitude. In fact, each landscape is a fiction, a fantasy construct produced by the artist from memory, a pastiche of mood, light, and atmosphere. They are quiet, contemplative, and introspective paintings, that marshal a kind of hushed reverence from visitors.

Large in scale, Shattuck's artwork draws viewers into their detail and scenery, and invite them to bask in the stillness of a transient moment captured in time.

About the Artist
William Shattuck, born in 1950, was raised in the New York City area. Primarily self taught, he eventually studied painting. printing and drawing at The Art Students League and The School for Visual Arts, both in Manhattan. At an early age, he visited his uncle, Peter Shattuck in the mid 1950s at his studio inn Greenwich Village, on Thompson Street. He was his father's youngest brother, a painter, and inspiration.

"I thought, adults are actually allowed to do this? Painting and drawing?" -- Shattuck

From 1973 to 1980 he worked in New York City - first for The New York Daily News, then as a commercial artist for an advertising firm and as a freelance illustrator. It was during this time that he became fascinated with translating the written word into visual language.

Upon moving to Southeastern Massachusetts in 1980, where his wife Dorothy grew up, he began painting the beautiful wet lands and marshes of the area while still pursuing his fascination with more narrative work, primarily through highly rendered charcoal drawings.

Shattuck taught for two years at The College for Visual Arts at The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. In 1993, he and writer, Deborah Kovacs, collaborated on the children's book, "Moonlight On The River," a story about his two sons published by Viking Penguin Books.

His work can be found in private and museum collections, including The DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA, as well as the print and drawing collection of The Wiggins Gallery at The Boston Public Library, and corporate collections.