Arnold Whitman's Story
In the modern day and age of bluster and boast, Uncle Arnold set the example for his descendents; three generations who learned that being soft spoken, understated and attentive would bring them into a world of keen observation. He taught them pleasure in the smallest things and brought a sense of humor as self-deprecating as it was wise. Arnold grew up in New York City and Quissett Harbor between the wars. His education at Middlesex School, Harvard University, and the National Academy of Design giving breadth and curiosity, essential for a great artist. By happenstance Harrison Cady lived on the same floor at 27 West 67th in Manhattan and Arnold looked to Harrison as an advocate. Eventually, Arnold settled into Rockport across from the Cady home. Arnold’s father, Oswald, was a famous economist and advised his son that being an artist was a mistake. Against all odds Arnold persevered and flourished. His grandfather, George Henry Clements, was an artist and gave Uncle Arnold encouragement.
Uncle Arnold’s recognition is too ecumenical and ongoing to properly catalogue; among his prizes are the George Sill Leonard, the Burton T. Bush, Allied Artists Gold Medal of Honor, the Epstein Prize, the Arthur C. Hill Award, the Bronze medal of Honor at the National Arts Club, the Salmagundi Club prize; the list goes on through 98 years with exhibitions at the Rockport Art Association, the North Shore Art Association, and The Guild of Boston Artists, among others.
He was the last of his generation; we now hold close so many memories of wonderful visits with him. Truly it was a matchless time. Lucky for us he left behind his amazing observation of the world. A gift he was and we his lucky audience.
A retrospective exhibition on Uncle Arnold’s 99th birthday will be held at the Rockport Art Association.
Published on  July 12, 2017