Cabot Lyford: War, Whales, Whimsy, Wings, Women and Workings will feature watercolor paintings, sculpture, illustrations, sketches, photography and film to highlight the creative history of Cabot Lyford’s life.
Lyford is best known as a sculptor, with public works at the Maine Audubon in Falmouth, ME; at the Portland International Jetport; the Vivian E. Hussey Elementary School in Berwick, ME; Colby College Art Museum in Waterville, ME; Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, ME; Ogunquit Museum of American Art in Ogunquit, ME; Portland Museum of Art in Portland, ME; the USS Albacore Museum in Portsmouth, NH and the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, MA.
Cabot Lyford enrolled in Cornell University to study architecture but left to enlist in World War II. He served as a combat rifleman, runner and scout with the 96th Infantry Division during the battle of Leyte in the Philippines. He was transferred to the Army Signal Corps in early 1945 and was stationed in Cebu City for the remainder of the war.
Cabot Lyford received a Master of Fine Arts in 1950 from Cornell University after completing a summer artists residency in 1947 at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. The founding and development of Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1946 was deeply connected to the explosive energy that characterized post-war American culture. The school was intended to develop artists by offering an honest, supportive forum for divergent viewpoints.
After college, Lyford relocated to New York City, where he wrote, directed and produced television commercials for NBC and J. Walter Thompson, an advertising agency. In 1957, Lyford was hired to create educational television programing at WGBH-TV, Boston’s PBS affiliate. He participated in the launch of WENH-TV in Durham, NH, now New Hampshire Public Television.
Cabot Lyford transitioned from television to classroom teaching in 1963. He was an art history and sculpture teacher at Phillips Exeter Academy in NH for twenty-three years. During his tenure, he became head of the academy’s art department and the director for the Lamont Gallery. He and his wife, Joan, moved to their summer home in Pemaquid, ME after he retired from Phillips Exeter Academy. He continued to sculpt into his late 80s but he suffered from arthritis and vision loss. He died in January 2016 at age 90. Cabot Lyford is survived by his three children - Matt, Julia and Tad - and their families.