Walter Elmer Schofield
Schofield's reputation is based on his series of winter landscapes depicting the rural area of Bucks County and the Delaware River Valley. Born in Philadelphia, Schofield attended Swarthmore College and later the Pennsylvania Academy, where he studied with the painter Thomas Anshutz. Schofield continued his education in Paris at the Académie Julian, while absorbing the work of the French Impressionists. During his stay in France, he traveled to the Forest of Fontainbleau, a location associated with the Barbizon School of nineteenth-century French landscape painters. These artists worked outdoors, affirming the direct communion with nature during a time of growing industrialization. "Winter," acquired by the Academy from the annual exhibition of 1899, is one of Schofield's earliest snow scenes, probably executed in the New Hope area. Schofield masterfully used the stream to lead our eye into the painting, directing our gaze to the sunlight breaking through the dense, barren trees. He felt invigorated by such wintry subjects and stated, "Zero [degree] weather, rain, falling snow, wind - all these things to contend with only make the open-air painter love the fight." In 1903, he settled in the artists' colony of St. Ives in Cornwall, United Kingdom, although he continued to return to Pennsylvania during the winter months to paint his definitive works.