Selected works by Kilby Webb Elwell

Kilby Webb Elwell

1841 - 1916

Kilby Elwell was born in Gloucester in 1841 and except for his service in the Civil War spent his entire life on Cape Ann. Elwell had an early start in the world of art and by the time he was just 21 years old had learned enough about painting to identify himself as a landscape painter. In the spring of 1864, the local newspaper, the Gloucester Telegraph, made note of the young man's skill calling him "talented" and his work "second to none." Elwell worked in watercolor, pastel and oil and early in his career is known to have favored many of the same scenes Fitz Henry Lane did including Stage Rocks and the Western Shore.

In the decades following the Civil War as Gloucester's economy expanded, in addition to his work as a landscape artist Elwell enjoyed success painting signs for local businesses. In 1885, he completed one for oil cloth manufacturer Joseph H. Rowe which depicted a yacht under full sail. The newspaper raved about the sign calling it "an artistic production, every detail of spar and sail being faithfully delineated... It is a picture worthy of hanging in the parlor and is another token of the genius of Mr. Elwell."