Biography: Stanley Massey Arthurs was born in Kenton, Delaware, where his father owned a general store. Talented in art as a child, he studied in Wilmington with painter Clawson Hammitt, who urged him to study with Howard Pyle. Pyle accepted Arthurs into his class at Drexel Institute in 1897; in 1898, Pyle invited Arthurs to attend his summer scholarship classes at Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. When Pyle opened his own school in Wilmington, Arthurs continued his studies there, and worked in one of the studios Pyle had built for the school. Arthurs' first illustration was published in the December 2, 1899, issue of Harper's Weekly. When Pyle died in 1911, Arthurs purchased his studio. He lived and taught there for the rest of his career.
Although Arthurs illustrated a great deal of popular literature, he specialized in historical texts, following Pyle's dictum that such images should be as accurate as possible. He also painted several murals of historical subjects for the State House in Dover, Delaware, and for the Minnesota State Capitol building, and produced a long series of historical paintings for DuPont Company calendars and the DuPont Magazine. Many of these were published in book form as The American Historical Scene (1938). Historical illustrations occupied most of Arthurs' attention after 1920, but he also painted landscapes, not only of local scenes but also of Florida, the Western states, and Europe.
Sources: Delaware Art Museum archives