Elaine Wesley


(1923 – 2007)

The arrival of Elaine Wesley’s artwork on the shores of the James Cox Gallery is remembered as a monumental event.  In 2008 we received a referral to appraise the estate of the recently deceased New York painter, Elaine Wesley.  Upon arrival at the warehouse we encountered more than five hundred oil paintings and countless prints, drawings, and works on paper. Daunting as the work became (photographing, cataloguing, etc.), our excitement grew.  This was a major discovery!

During the ensuing two years we dug deep to learn more about her past, her training, her life, and why such a brilliant painter lived for nearly fifty years in the center of New York’s art world, Greenwich Village and SoHo, yet exhibited infrequently and largely eluded major gallery representation.

Miss Wesley began her studies at the Art Students League in 1946 under Harry Sternberg and Nahum Tschacbasov.  Further courses at Pratt Institute prepared her for as career at one of New York’s advertising agencies, which she found suffocating and far from an appropriate use of her talent.  She quit her graphic arts job to paint full time.

Elaine Wesley showed at the Pennsylvania Academy on Fine Arts, The Brooklyn Museum, Artists Equity (NYC), Terrain Gallery and the Waverly Gallery, gaining only brief exposure for her work.

Today, the James Cox Gallery at Woodstock administers the Elaine Wesley Estate.  The exhibition entitled “Seeing is Believing” debuted in 2011 and was a commercial and critical success.  This followed strong sales at the Woodstock Artist’s Association and Museum 2009 annual exhibition and public auction.

Stay in touch to learn of other exhibitions and developments for this extraordinary painter.

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