'One of the founders of American landscape painting', according to Cross. Schofield was born in Philadelphia and trained initially at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, before travelling to Paris in 1892 to study at the Academie Julien. He arrived in St Ives in 1903, where he remained for four years. While in St Ives he was awarded the Carnegie Gold Medal, and received a large cash prize at the National Arts Club of New York.
He travelled and exhibited widely, especially in USA (where he retained his US citizenship), but also moved back and forth at will to Cornwall until his death. He married an English wife, Murielle Redmayne, in 1897. She did not take to life in America and so the couple moved to England in 1901, living initially in Southport before their sojourn in St Ives. There Murielle brought up their two sons while her husband spent a considerable time away, either on the American exhibition circuit or sketching in Europe. In 1907 the family moved to Yorkshire and then in 1911 to Bedford, but Schofield continued to travel and in 1912 visited Polperro for the first time. His best Polperro work, 'The Outer Harbour, Polperro' was hung in the National Academy in New York in 1914.
With Julius OLSSON he painted at Dieppe, and with Alfred EAST in 1905 he served on the International Jury of the Carnegie Institute (for the awarding of the prestigious Carnegie Medal). From this prestigious position he raised awareness in America of the importance of art in Cornwall.
Joining as a private in the British Army in 1915, and taking part in the Battle of the Somme, he left with the rank of Major. His son, Sidney Elmer SCHOFIELD purchased historic Godolphin Manor at Breage, Cornwall. In later life Walter and the family moved there, where he died in 1944.
In 2007 the National Trust purchased Godolphin House and Garden, both Grade 1 listed and from May 2010 until July 2011 conserved and restored the house which is now open to the public on 6 days each month from February - October (except August).
Painter of landscapes, 'one of the founders of American landscape painting' (Cross)
works and access
Works include: Newlyn Harbour, Cornwall; Cornish Inn (1936); Cornwall (1930); Street in Normandy; Godolphin House; Outer Harbor Polperro (1913); Mclegrenow Farm (1925); Boat House on a Canal; Summer Morning; January Morning (1941); Pennsylvania Barn in the Snow; Seascape; Boat House on a Canal; A Cornish Village; The Winter Woods; Hill Country; Frosty Morning; Sand Dunes near Lelant, Cornwall, England (1905)
Access to Work: Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
National Arts Club of New York; widely, and especially in, USA
International Jury of the Carnegie Institute
St Ives Times 5 Sep 1913
Cross Shining Sands
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p344)
Johnson & Greutzner
Tovey, David (2021) Polperro - Cornwall's Forgotten Art Centre - Volume One - Pre-1920, Wilson Books
Whybrow St Ives
Wormleighton Morning Tide
The Studio Vol LVII 1912-13: C Lewis Hind: 'Landscape Painting, W Elmer Schofield'
Doyle New York Auction House
ART “4” “2”-DAY