Arthur Watkins Crisp
Arthur Watkins Crisp, painter, muralist, designer (b at Hamilton, Ont 26 Apr 1881; d at Biddeford Pool, Maine 28 June 1974). He studied at the Hamilton Art School under John S. Gordon (1898-99) and at the Art Students League, New York (1900-03). Crisp executed numerous mural decorations for theatres, schools, hotels, private homes and office buildings in New York City as well as in Trenton, NJ, and Elmira, NY.
He was commissioned to paint British and Canadian recruiting on the Boston Common in 1918 for the Canadian War Memorials and painted decorations for the Reading Room of the new House of Commons in Ottawa (1920-23), for the Canadian Bank of Commerce, King St, Toronto (1933), for the Capitol Building, Columbus, Ohio (1951) and for the State Educational Building, Albany, NY (1959). His decorations for private homes and businesses are rich in colour, vivacious and show an influence of Persian and Chinese art, while those for public buildings have a formality and restraint and reflect his interest in the art of the Italian Renaissance.
Crisp also designed embroidery and silk and velvet hangings which were executed by his wife, Mary Ellen Crisp. Crisp was a member of numerous art organizations including the Architectural League of New York (1911) and the National Society of Mural Painters, New York (1913). He was a founder-member of the Allied Artists of America (1914), the American Water Color Society and the New York Water Color Club (1915) and the National Academy (1937).
He retired to Biddeford, Maine, in 1956 and gave a large collection of his work to the Art Gallery of Hamilton in 1963.