Works by William M. Halsey at Doyle Charleston

Works by William M. Halsey at Doyle Charleston

10/30/2023     General, General Paintings, Charleston

In collaboration with Charleston art dealer, Ann Long Fine Art, Doyle's Charleston gallery is pleased to present the work of abstract painter and sculptor William M. Halsey (1915-1999). A Charlestonian, Halsey broke away from the conventions of most local painters to become a pioneer of modern art in the South.

Halsey pursued artistic training at the school of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. There, he studied traditional line drawing with Alexander Iacovleff and color theory with Karl Zerbe. In 1939, Halsey was awarded the institution’s highest honor, the James William Paige Fellowship, for study abroad. Originally scheduled to travel to Europe with his new wife, fellow artist Corrie McCallum, the onset of World War II necessitated a change of plans. The couple set sail for Mexico instead, an experience that has an influence on his artwork ever since. In Mexico City, Halsey absorbed the culture, color, and texture of the country.

Halsey returned to the American South in 1941 and settled permanently in Charleston in 1945. During his more than forty years as an influential educator and mentor, he was also represented by the Bertha Schaefer Gallery in New York City and exhibited his increasingly Abstract Expressionist paintings, collages, and sculpture throughout the country. Although Halsey departed from “the prevailing influence of the Old Charleston picturesque,” he credited his hometown as a source of inspiration: the decaying stucco buildings literally showed up in his work. He painted “furiously” on canvases built up with gesso, sand, marble dust, found objects, and fabric although he prized color above all else.

During his lifetime, Halsey’s works were included in exhibitions at such noted institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, and National Academy of Design. He is represented in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the High Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Gibbes Museum of Art, and Greenville County Museum of Art.

The exhibition at Doyle Charleston includes many works from a family member’s private collection and has never been on offer before.

Monday, November 6 – Friday, November 10
10am – 5pm

Doyle Charleston
123 King Street
Charleston, South Carolina

803-849-2901 or

Emily Grimball Longley

Emily Grimball Longley

VP / Director of Client Strategy, Charleston Regional Advisor