Wood Gaylor, 1883 – 1957
Steven’s Point, 1929
Oil on canvas
19 ½ x 27 ½ inches
Signed and dated (lower left): Wood Gaylor 1929
New York, Downtown Gallery, 1930.
New York, Salons of America, The American Art association. 1930.
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Carnegie Institute, Pennsylvania, 1930.
Queens, New York, Kew Gardens Art Center, 1951.
Wood Gaylor had a nomadic childhood, but his fondest memories were from his years at Steven’s Point, an isolated seaside outpost on Noroton Neck in Darien, Connecticut. About forty years later he celebrated that period with this memory painting, which was shown at Edith Halpert’s Downtown Gallery in his 1930 solo exhibition. A scene from one of the lively gatherings at the family-owned hotel and bar, Steven’s Point includes the charming, individuated characters that peopled most of his work. Included are Gaylor himself (holding a dead duck), with his seated mother and younger sister, while his father observes the scene from across the room: his rifle resting against the bar. The central figure, a performer in bright red attire, is playing to what seems to be a somewhat bemused group. Gaylor playfully adds to the comedic atmosphere – with one adult seemingly sitting on the lap of another gentleman, each with but one leg and a waiter with none.