Tyson was an American artist based in Philadelphia, best known for his coastal landscapes, portraits and natural history paintings of birds. He summered on Mount Desert Island in Maine and painted scenic landscapes in an Impressionist style. An avid ornithologist, Tyson was an expert on the species on Mount Desert Island. He is most famous for his portfolio of 20 lithographs, published in a limited edition of 250 sets, based on his original watercolors. The portfolio was published in Milan as The Birds of Mount Desert Island (1934-36). Tyson started his series of approximately 200 paintings of the birds of Mount Desert Island in 1918 and exhibited them several times, including at the Delaware Art Museum (1938) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1947). He illustrated the birds in the midst of activity in their natural habitats: hunting, feeding or interacting with others of their species. This style followed many of the most renowned American bird artists, including John James Audubon (1785–1851) and Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874-1927). Indeed, Tyson owned one of the rare elephant folio size editions of Audubon prints. He also co-authored and contributed 12 line drawings to the field guide Birds of Mt. Desert Island Acadia National Park, Maine (1941).
Carroll Sargent Tyson, Jr. began his professional career as an artist studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA). He studied with William Merritt Chase, Thomas Anshutz, and Cecilia Beaux and participated in almost every annual exhibition at the PAFA from 1905 through 1954, as well as having a solo exhibition. He also studied in Munich and deeply admired Cezanne. Indeed, he co-organized a landmark exhibition of European avant-garde artists in the 1920s at the PAFA, which helped introduce artists such as Cezanne, Gauguin, Picasso and Matisse to the American public. He was a member of the National Academy, the Arts Club of Philadelphia and the Society of Independent Artists. He had solo exhibitions in New York at the Durand-Ruel Gallery (1927) and the Wildenstein Gallery (1936 and 1946). In addition, he exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Whitney Museum and Corcoran Gallery. His works are in the collection of the PAFA and the White House. In 1974, Hirschl & Adler Galleries in New York presented a retrospective exhibition of Tyson’s work accompanied by a catalog.
Title printed in matrix lower left: “Double-Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax Auritas) Caroll Tyson 1918 –.”
Notes in pencil lower right: “Plate 80. Double-Crested Cormorant. Young female. S[illegible] 1918 –.”
Stamped twice verso: “Made in Italy Roberto Hoesch” and “Copyright Carroll Tyson”
Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified with only minor remaining light toning and wear.
“Carroll Sargent Tyson, Jr.” Askart.com. 2000-2011. http://www.askart.com/AskART/artists/biography.aspx?searchtype=BIO&artist=20619 (18 March 2011).
Falk, Peter Hastings, ed. Who Was Who in American Art. Madison, Connecticut: Sound View Press, 1985. p. 636.
“History and Timeline.” Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. 2002-2011. http://www.pafa.org/Museum/Research-Archives/History-and-Timeline/59/ (18 March 2011).
“Institutional Archives, Exhibition History – 1930-1939.” Delaware Art Museum. 2011. http://www.delart.org/collections/HFS_library/inst_archives/exhibition_history_1930s.html (18 March 2011).http://www.delart.org/collections/HFS_library/inst_archives/exhibition_history_1930s.html (18 March 2011).
Madeira, Louis C. IV. “Homage” in Carroll S. Tyson, 1878-1956: A Retrospective Exhibition. New York: Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York: 1974.