Raymond Theel painted through the first half of the twentieth century and is admired for his ‘large-scale’ landscape paintings and experimentation with heavy applications of paint. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in the first decade of the twentieth century and his teachers were Cecilia Beau, Violet Oakley, Henry McCarter and Daniel Garber. He was a two-time recipient of the Academy’s prestigious Cresson Memorial Travel Scholarship.
After graduating, he supported himself and his family by working as a commercial artist, illustrating and painting billboards for N.W. Ayer,, a large advertising agency based in Philadelphia. Despite his immense talent, Theel did not exhibit frequently. Moreover, because most of his life’s work was lost in a tragic fire that destroyed his home and studio, it is little known; fewer than twenty paintings survived. Woodmere had the first comprehensive exhibition of Theel’s work, Raymond Theel: Making a Big Impressionism, in 2015.