John Willard Raught

Artist Biography

A successful Pennsylvania landscape painter, William Gerdts has called John Willard Raught “unquestionably Scranton’s most talented and distinctive professional artist in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.”[1] Born in the industrial town of Dunmore, Pennsylvania, Raught moved to New York City in 1880 to study at the National Academy of Design. In 1885 to traveled to Paris to further his studies at the Académie Julian where he was introduced to Impressionism. Returning to New York in 1890, his most important patron became John M. Robertson from Scranton, Pennsylvania. In 1895, Raught returned to Europe on Robertson’s commission, and upon Raught’s return to the United States in 1897, he established studios in both New York and Pennsylvania while spending summers painting on Long Island. By the 1910s he had left New York and made Scranton his permanent home. In Scranton he turned from the natural landscape to paint dramatic scenes of the coal industry prominent in the city. Raught was a member of the Salmagundi Club, where he would have associated with artists such as N.C. Wyeth and William Merritt Chase, as well as the American Federation of Arts. He exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, National Academy of Design, Paris Salon, and The Art Institute of Chicago. The Everhart Museum in Scranton established a memorial in his honor and holds the largest public collection of his work.

1 - William H. Gerdts, Art Across America, Two Centuries of Regional Painting, 1710–1920: The East and The Mid-Atlantic vol. 1 (New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1990), 273.

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