Steve Story

August 14 through September 2, 2024

“X Country at Mount Van Hovenberg

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1915, Story began painting the cityscape around him when he was a child.  His father and grandfather, both artists, stimulated his talent.  And when his parents moved to East Hampton on Long Island, he turned his talents to seascapes. 

A Fine Arts Graduate of Pratt Institute in 1936 (Class of Illustration), Story made art restoration a 47-year profession, primarily in private practice. During his career, he combined the skill of a craftsman with his artistic touch to restore works by many of the great masters.  He worked on paintings in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Historical Society, the National Gallery of Art, and the Capitol Building, Washington, DC; commercial galleries included The Kennedy Galleries; and numerous private collections, including W. Averill Harriman's French masterpiece collection.

Captivated by the beauty of the Adirondacks, Steve Story and his wife, Dorothy, began renting a summer home in the region in 1956, and eventually purchased a summer camp in 1964 on Lake Simond, near Tupper Lake.  Spending summer months in the Adirondacks, Stephen Story began to concentrate on painting seriously. And in 1977, when he retired, the Story’s purchased a home in the Village of Saranac Lake where he erected a studio and devoted his remaining life to his art, primarily intimate views of the Adirondacks. 

“Broadway and the Green Jeep, Saranac Lake”

“Lake Simond, Tupper Lake, NY”

“Barn Scene, Adirondacks” 

 Steve Story’s work is painterly, with heavy brushwork, an impassioned use of impasto and high color tones.  His technique is unlike many of his contemporaries who portrayed the Adirondacks.   While they valued careful delineation as derived from the early Hudson River School painters, and who first arrived in the Adirondack region in the mid nineteenth century.  Story ‘s paintings are quite different and far more dramatic.  Through his paints, Steven Story explored the central Adirondack region, not so much the grand vistas of the High Peaks, or the Adirondacks picturesque birds-eye vistas, but rather it was the more intimate scenes of nature that appealed to his artistic sensibility. Clearly, Story looked to the American regionalist, Charles Burchfield (1893-1967) as an intellectual influence.  Like Burchfield, Story “focused on nature-based art on the ground beneath his feet.”  The broken trees, the mangled tree trunks extending their way out of desolate swamps and the views of the small ponds and lakes that surrounded his home were the central themes of Story’s depictions.  In some cases, the landscapes are somewhat foreboding; in others they are quite cheerful.  He found deserted vehicles an object of beauty.  And finally, Story loved the sky!  The thick clouds billowing in, or the crisp colorful panoramic sunsets of the evening sun he imbued with a highly expressionistic light.  Story’s paintings focus on the central Adirondack region, immersed in a very personal vision of a very local landscape in a highly expressionistic manner.