Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online

For Participating Institutions

Bert Gallery Stephen W. Macomber Inventory book (Sp 5.0)

Rhode Island School of Design Archives

Fleet Library at RISD
2 College Street
Providence, RI 02903
Tel: 401-709-5922
Fax: 401-709-5932
email: risdarchives@risd.edu

Biographical note

Hugo Bert and Catherine Little Bert founded the Bert Gallery (Providence, RI) in 1985 to showcase Rhode Island artists. Catherine Little Bert became the sole owner in 1992 and expanded the gallery's focus to include regional contemporary artists.

The gallery represented local artist Stephen Wesley Macomber known for his still-life, portrait, and landscape paintings. Born in Westerly, MA 1889 November 15, Macomber attended Rhode Island School of Design, 1907-1913 receiving a certificate in 1912 and diploma in 1913 for Freehand Drawing and Painting. He began his teaching career at RISD as a part-time assistant to Freehand Drawing and Painting instructor William Cushing Loring, 1913-1915. He also taught English at Classical High School, Providence, RI. His work was included in the Art Institute of Chicago's 1913 Exhibition of American Paintings and Sculpture. Macomber served with the 77th Field Artillery, 4th Division during World War One and stayed in Paris after the war to attend the Academie Julian in 1919.

Macomber returned to the United States sometime during the 1920s and in 1927 married Helen Johnson of North Stonington, CT. He returned to RISD in 1929 as an assistant to Wilfred I. Duphiney and Nancy C. Jones, both of the Freehand Drawing and Painting Department, beginning a 45 year teaching career at the school. He taught still life, action, and cast drawing during the 1930s and joined the Freshman Foundation Department in the 1940s where he taught drawing. He and RISD colleague Anna T. Carmody attended the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts during 1935 December taking a special course in the fugure. He retired in 1974 receiving the RISD Distinguished Alumnus Award. His work has been exhibited at the Providence Art Club, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Mystic Art Association, the Bert Gallery, and other galleries. Macomber served on the Westerly (RI) Town Council during the 1940s and was elected to the Rhode Island State Senate for the 1949-1950 term. He died on 1983 April 7.