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Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975

Biographical Note

Willard Warren Cummings (1915-1975) was a painter and co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine.
Cummings was born to Willard H. and Helen Cummings in Old Town, Maine. He studied at the Académie Julian in Paris, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Yale University, and was presented with an honorary doctorate degree from Colby College in 1960. Cummings was notable for his portraits of military generals, politicians including Margaret Chase Smith and Adlai Stevenson, actors such as Bette Davis, and other notable figures.
Cummings joined the U.S. Army in 1941. He organized a mural project for soldiers, painted portraits for the War Department, and served as an artist-correspondent with the War Art Unit in the Aleutian Islands. Cummings met artists Sidney Simon, Henry Varnum Poor, and Charles Cutler while assigned to the unit. After completing their military service, Cummings, Simon, Poor, and Cutler founded the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. Additionally, Cummings played an important part of organizing Soldier Art, an exhibition of the National Army Arts Contest winners.
Cummings was married to Mildred "Milly" Cummings with whom he had a daughter, Daphne, and son, William. Cummings died in 1975 in Skowhegan, Maine.