Van Laer, Alexander Theobald, 1857-1920
- Existence: Birth Date 1857-02-09
- Existence: Death Date 1920-03-12
Alexander Theobald Van Laer was born in Auburn, New York. He studied at the Art Students League in New York, NY and abroad in the Netherlands, later becoming an educator and a leading landscape painter in the Tonalist style. Van Laer married Stella Stickney on 24 Nov 1886.
Van Laer began painting in Litchfield in 1893. He rented studio space in a barn and summer lodging. The Van Laers purchased a home on West Street known as the Judd Homestead. It was located immediately west of the present Town Hall. They remodeled it into “Laercourt Lodge.” Van Laer had a studio in the barn building which later became Tom McBride’s Antique Shop. He gave art classes and lectures and each summer held a show of paintings by himself, Adelaide Deming and Emily Noyes Vanderpoel in the “Barn Studio.” Several of his paintings were featured in an exhibition at the Mattatuck Museum entitled, “Artists of the Litchfield Hills.”
Van Laer was a member of the American Watercolor Society. He lectured all over US including at Smith College. He was a member of the National Academy, was for 10 years President of the Salamagundi Club, and a member of the Lotus Club. In Litchfield, he served as the President of the Village Improvement Society.
Stella served as the first president of the Litchfield Women's Forum and hosted many of the meetings at her husband’s studio. She was also active in the DAR. She was president of the Aid to the Connecticut Junior Republic in 1914. She took guests in her home and had a gift shop. Stella also held a school for small children in winters in the Studio. After her husband’s death in 1920, she remained in Litchfield for a few years and by 1930 had moved to Augusta, Georgia, where she was the proprietor of an “Art Shop.” She died in Augusta on November 6, 1935.
- Litchfield (Conn.) (Residence)