Artists Share Tweet

James D. Havens

(1900-1960)

James Dexter Havens (1900-1960) was a noted artist, printer, wood engraver, etcher, block-printer, illustrator, painter, graphic designer and sculptor known especially for his for his atmospheric woodblock prints in the tradition of Margaret Jordan Patterson (1867-1950) and Eliza Draper Gardiner (1871-1955) and for his landscape paintings. He was considered part of the color woodblock revival in America. His prints and paintings often featured animals, nature scenes, people, landscape, cityscape, seascape or maritime scenes characterized by minute details and careful design. Havens was a member of many art societies, print-making organizations, and clubs. He was one of the twenty-two founding members of the Print Club of Rochester, NY, initially serving as treasurer and served for many years as director. The logo that he designed for the Club is still in use today. His works are in many public & private collections and museums.

Havens studied at the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (known today as the Rochester Institute of Technology RIT), in Henrietta, NY under Alling MacKaye Clements (1891-1957), and at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. He also took summer classes at the Charles H. Woodbury (1864-1940) Summer School in Ogunquit, ME (circa 1935), and studied privately with Thomas Fogerty (1873-1938) for etching, Troy Sylvanus Kinney (1871-1938), John Edward Costigan (1888-1972), and Grant Tyson Reynard (1887-1968).

From the early age of fourteen, Havens was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and doctors only gave him about two years to live. Bedridden for most of the time, he began drawing as a way to pass the time and combat the boredom. Though ill, he still was able to complete high school and three years at the University of Rochester. Havens was a life-long sufferer of disease, but he earned a footnote in history when in 1922, on the verge of death, he became the first person to be successfully treated with insulin injections in the United States. His father, head of the legal department at Eastman Kodak, learned of research being carried out in Canada and obtained a supply of insulin even before it was available in the US. Insulin therapy dramatically improved the quality of his life and he finished studying art at Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute.

Mark Strong, James Dexter Havens, http://www.meibohmfinearts.com/artists.aspx?ID=717, (Accessed 12/30/2011)