Maxwell Ashby Armfield

USA / 1881 - 1972 / wikipedia
Maxwell Ashby Armfield (5 Oct. 1881- 23 Jan. 1972); English artist, illustrator and writer.

Born to a Quaker family in Ringwood, Hampshire, Armfield was educated at Sidcot School and at Leighton Park School. In 1887 he was admitted to Birmingham School of Art, then under the headmastership of Edward R. Taylor and a major center of the Arts and Crafts Movement. There he studied under Henry Payne and Arthur Gaskin and, outside the school, received instruction in tempera painting from Joseph Southall at Southall's studio in Edgbaston.

....Spent 7 years in the US; wrote Tempera Painting Today..... (

Maxwell Armfield is renowned for his use of the traditional tempera technique. The complexities and benefits of the medium are addressed in his thesis, Tempera Painting Today (1946). Armfield has had a considerable influence on modern British art, inspiring artists such as Tristram Hillier, John Tunnard, John Armstrong, Eliot Hodgkin and Augustus Lunn. David Tindall continues this technique today along with members of the Tempera Society.

In the spring of 1915, Armfield left his Cotswold house and sailed to the United States, where he was to stay until 1922. There he concentrated on oil painting in the avant-garde style, but did not abandon his small tempera still life and landscape paintings. He joined a group of artists who included George Bellows and Robert Henri, who saw beauty and charm in modern, industrial America.

Armfield describes his first experiences of New York in his book An Artist in America:

The approach to New York by sea is one of those rare experiences that are apt to impress themselves vividly because of some unique charm... How much more beautiful and inspiring it is than the approach to Venice. Here are no misty golden glooms of decayed splendour, but the sharp thrust of sunlight as keen as a razor. (
upload photo

First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


Collectors 6

Related Artists

+ add artist