I don't think my friend Bruce would mind my posting his tribute to our mutual friend Bill -------
My friend, Bill, died last night. The man was astonishingly clear as recently as my last visit on Saturday, his memories intact. Here is a bio he asked me to write for him to fit on a sheet of letterhead.
<< There was no epiphany that launched William H. Campbell into his career as an artist. As best as he can remember, he has always been. While his father took him to see sports, such as the Frankford Yellow Jackets, winners of the 1926 NFL Championship, his mother cultivated his love of art. Starting in 1920, she would take him regularly to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to see the Annual shows, a long journey on a meandering trolley before the Frankford el was installed.
Born in Philadelphia on the 14th September 1915, it is also Philadelphia which gave him his formal art education, starting when he was 9-years-old at La France Art Institute. During the 1930s in what has now become the University of the Arts, he studied under Gertrude Schell, Thornton Oakley, and Alexey Brodovitch. There was also one summer excursion in 1935 to Rockport, Massachusetts where Campbell received training from Earl Horter, an exceptional teacher and role model, who awakened Campbell's interest in abstract art. Campbell would eventually become known as the Grandfather of Philadelphia's Abstract Art Movement, yet he continued to work in both representational and abstract paintings, even as he labored in long careers as an illustrator, designer, teacher, and art director.Even now, the gouaches he painted of Autocar trucks, produced while a commissioned artist employed at Grey & Rodgers of Philadelphia in the 1940s, have been become a sensation on the internet, with the Autocar magazine advertisements having become collectibles.
He did not serve in World War Two, due to a childhood fall on a staircase, an injury that caused him to injure his left arm and shoulder, which did not heal properly. Some of the damage was not detected until he was in high school. After the war there were trips to Mexico in 1947 and to Europe and Great Britain in 1956.
Campbell is a charter member of Artists Equity and was President of the Artists Guild from 1951 to 1952. He is listed in Who's Who in American Art and Who's Who in the East. He has been a member of the Philadelphia Sketch Club since 1939. Campbell has curated several exhibitions of local artists. Hundreds of his works can be found in private and public collections. He has also indirectly contributed to the musical arts by co-founding with his wife, Jeanette, and three other couples, The Main Point [1964-1981]. This famous coffeehouse was located in Bryn Mawr and attracted such performers as Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Arlo Guthrie, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Leonard Cohen, Doc Watson, Tom Rush, Odetta, and Bruce Springsteen, to name a few.
In 1970, he moved into his present address because it provided him with facilities for producing bigger canvases and to concentrate on pure abstractions.
Trucks, give me trucks!!! --- I'M LIKING TRUCKSWhen we see what we want to see, and hear what we want to hear---- all too often we miss the point!
I'm where I'm at when I'm all there! But,when I'm here, how can I be all there?
George Murphey --