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Hayley Lever - Artists - Spellman Gallery

Fishing Boats, Exmouth, England, 1905

Hayley Lever (1876 – 1958)

Born in Adelaide, Australia, Hayley Lever was known for his town-shore landscapes and still-life painting in a style that combined impressionism with vivid colors and strong lines of realism—post impressionism. In his use of color, he was deeply influenced by Vincent Van Gogh. He freely explored numerous styles based on impressionism but was never locked into any particular style.

He showed early art talent and traveled to England in 1893. He studied art in London and then painted at an artists’ colony in Cornwall on the seacoast of St. Ives where he began his seacoast paintings. He received much attention in Europe for these works. In 1908, he did a series of paintings called “Van Gogh’s Hospital, Holland” expressing the profound influence he felt of that artist.

Lever came to America in 1911, encouraged by American artist Ernest Lawson whom he knew in France, and was soon counted among the most widely exhibited artists in New York City. Many of his scenes were of Manhattan. He had a summer studio in Gloucester, Massachusetts and from 1919 to 1931 taught at the Art Students League in New York City. He also became Director of the Studio Art Club in Mount Vernon, New York.

Lever imparted to his students the following message: “Art is the re-creation of mood in line, form and color. If I were confined to my own back yard for the rest of my life, I’d still have more pictures in my mind than I would have time to paint. Art is nothing but having a good time” (Comenos Fine Art).

He died in Mount Vernon, New York in 1958, having suffered ill health the last few years of his life.

He received many awards and critical acclaim and his works were purchased by major American museums, such as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Washington’s Phillips Collection and Corcoran Museum.

Michael David Zellman, “Three Hundred Years of American Art”

Biography from the Archives of AskART



Addison Gallery of American Art, MA
Antioch College, OH
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Baltimore Museum of Art, MD
Benalla Art Gallery, Victoria, Australia
Brigham Young University Museum of Art, UT
Brooklyn Museum, NY
Butler Institute of American Art, OH
Cape Ann Museum, MA
Cheekwood Museum of Art, TN
Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, England
Colby College Museum of Art, ME
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, TX
Des Moines Art Museum, IA
Detroit Institute of Art, MI
Duquesne Club, PA
Everson Museum of Art, NY
Flint Institute of Arts, MI
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, MA
Ft. Worth Museum of Art, TX
Grand Rapids Art Museum, MI
Heckscher Museum, NY
High Museum of Art, GA
Huntington Museum of Art, NY
Little Rock Art Museum, AR
Los Angeles Museum of Art, CA
Mead Art Museum, MA
Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, NY
Memphis Art Museum, TN
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Montclair Art Museum, NJ

Museum of Art at Brigham Young University, UT
Museum of the City of New York, NY
Nantucket Historical Association, MA
National Academy of Design, NY
National Arts Club, NY
Neuberger Museum of Art, NY
New Britain Museum of American Art, CT
New Jersey State Museum, NH
Norton Museum of Art, FL
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, PA
Perth Amboy Public Library, NJ
Prince Alfred College Collection, Kent Town, South Australia
Royal Cornwall Museum, England
Salt Lake City University Museum, UT
Sheldon Museum of Art, NE
Spencer Museum of Art, KS
Springfield Association of Art, UT
Sydney Art Museum, Australia
Telfair Museum of Art, GA
The Canton Museum of Art, OH
The Hudson River Museum, NY
The Parthenon, TN
The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
University of Nebraska, NE
Westmoreland Museum of American Art, PA
White House, Washington, DC
Whitney Museum of American Art, NY
Wichita Art Museum, KS
Woodstock Art Association, NY
Yale University Art Gallery, CT