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Henry Bill Selden
Lyme Art Colony
(January 24, 1886–February 1934)
In Lyme: 1922-1933
Henry Bill Selden (1886-1934) was born on January 24, 1886. He was the only child of Joseph Henry Selden and Florence Bill Selden. He attended Princeton University for two years and studied art for one year at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He then moved to New York and spent the next four years at the Art Students League. He studied under Kenyon Cox and George Bridgeman among others. During the summers he studied under Charles H. Woodbury.
In 1911 while still a student his entry in his first exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy was selected for the International Exhibition in South America. He also exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York that same year. He exhibited at the American Watercolor Society and the Greenwich Society of Artists in 1912. Other exhibitions included the New York Water Color Club, 1913, the National Academy of Design, Washington, D.C., 1914, Washington Watercolor Society, 1914, the Panama-Pacific Exposition, San Francisco, 1915, Connecticut College, 1919, 1925, 1927, 1930, 1934. He also exhibited at the St. Boltolph Club, Boston, Salmagundi Club, New York, and the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts.
Selden traveled in Europe extensively. He also spent time in Greenwich, Connecticut where his parents lived and where his father was a minister. There he met and married Hazel Potter. Her father Edward Clark Potter was a sculptor, best known for the architectural lions, which stand in front of the New York Public Library.
In 1915 Selden became an art instructor at Connecticut College. He later became an assistant professor, then professor, and then head of the department. As head of the Department of Fine Arts he was instrumental in developing a program which combined study of both the technical study of drawing and painting as well as art history and a liberal arts background.
He won the Charles Noel Plagg Prize, Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts in 1929 for The Blue Pool.
He would spend a day or weekend at the home of Miss Florence Griswold where his close friends William Robinson, William Chadwick, Charles Ebert, and Gregory Smith were part of the Old Lyme Art Colony there.
He was a member of the Allied Artists of America, the American Federation of Arts, the American Water Color Society, the Artist Fund Society, The Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, the Greenwich Society of Artists, the Lyme Art Association, the National Arts Club of New York, the New York Water Color Club, and the Salmagundi Club.
Henry Bill Selden died of pneumonia in February of 1934.