Stanley Marc Wright
SGT in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co A
ASN#32247035 Casualty: Wounded
Born 1911 in NJ
County of residence at enlistment: Essex County, NJ
Other residence(s): Newark, NJ; Stowe, VT
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: commercial artists
College education before the war: Pratt 3 years
Stanley Wright was born on May 24, 1911, in Irvington, NJ, the younger of two children. His father was a lawyer, so he grew up in comfortable circumstances. His aunt, Minna Wright Citron, was a renowned NY artist, so he had the genes and the proximity to Minna to develop his interest in art. He ran track all four years at Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ, where the yearbook tagline says of him: "Stan, pursuer of the arts, Likes to draw and break girls' hearts."
He then studied fine arts at Pratt in New York City, graduating in 1933 at the top of his class.
He returned to New Jersey and painted portraits, including one of Ingrid Bergman. He won a Tiffany Foundation Fellowship to study at the Jerry Farnsworth School of Art in 1935; Farnsworth specialized in portrait and figure painting. Stan was also a WPA Project artist in the late 1930s.
He registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, at which time he was a self-employed artist with a studio in East Orange. By the time he enlisted, on March 7, 1942, he self-identified as a commercial artist.
Stanley served overseas with the Ghost Army during the war; the story is told that near the end of the war, in Germany, he commandeered an attic that he and some of his fellow artists used as a studio.
After his discharge from the Army, with the rank of SGT, he painted and taught at the Newark (NJ) School of Fine Arts, meeting Carolyn "Ki" Sterrett Hartke, when she took one of his classes. She became his favorite model, and then his fiancée.
Ki was a Cornell grad, an artist, and a divorced mother of two young sons, when she married Stan in the fall of 1949 in Stowe, VT. Stan had painted a blacksmith shop and a blacksmith in Stowe the previous summer and had fallen in love with the property. He and Ki purchased it, the last blacksmith shop in Stowe, and converted it to a studio. They converted a hops drying house into their home, a barn into an art school, and a chicken house into a dormitory for summer art students, and the Wright School of Art was born. Stan taught the adult classes and Ki the children. For their fifth anniversary (wood), Stan bought an old school house and had it moved to the property to serve as Ki's studio.
He and Ki would live in Stowe for the rest of their lives. Stan painted many portraits of Vermont political figures which were hung at the State House in Montpelier. He became known as northern Vermont's foremost impressionist painter, and he taught hundreds, if not thousands, of students--at his art school in Stowe, as well as in programs throughout the state of Vermont. In a 1975 interview, he stated his attitude towards teaching technique: "I don't believe in technique, it comes when it comes. . . . The best teacher in the world is nature."
The same article says of Stan and Ki that "the two are a curious blend of the cultured and the faintest of suggestions of bohemia: they muster up thoughts of Paris in the spring, a la 1920s."
Stan painted in oil, watercolor, and acrylics, and won numerous awards for his art throughout the decades; one newspaper article reported that the year before he moved to Stowe he won 10 major metropolitan art prizes. He was a perennial prize winner at the Northern Vermont Artist Association Exhibition.
Stan was a high school athlete and he returned to the athletic world in Stowe, playing golf for relaxation, and playing well enough that he won club championships at the Stow Country Club and state titles as well. He also served for a time as president of the Stowe Country Club, and was a member of the Copley Golf Club. He was a member and past president of the Stowe Rotary, and a long-time member of the Salmagundi Art Club in New York City.
Ki died in 1993, and Stan died three years later, on May 9, 1996, of prostate cancer.
1930 high school yearbook (see link below; clip attached)
1930 Maplewood High School yearbook
1938 article in the Long Branch, NJ Daily Record; mentions that he was a WPA project artist
1940 draft card
1942 enlistment record
1949 article in Burlington Free Press about his move to Vermont, his fiancee, and his remodeling of blacksmith shop
1949 marriage record
1975 article in Burlington Free Press; includes a lot of biographical detail
1996 obituary in the Burlington Free Press
1996 VA death record
1996 Vermont death record
Biography at artprice.com