Chauncey Allan Lyford

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Chauncey Allan Lyford (American, 1880-1967) was a Western New York painter, educator, professor and chemist primarily known for his landscapes in oil and watercolor. He was born in Worcester, MA in 1880 to school principal Joseph Chauncey Lyford (1853-1909) and Nettie Eliza (née Adams) Lyford (1856-1933). He had four younger siblings to include: Ralph Adams Lyford (1882-1927), Esther Campbell Lyford (1885-1953), Phillip Lyford (1887-1950) and Katharine Lyford (1891-?). He typically signed his paintings with ‘C.A. Lyford’ or ‘C. Allan Lyford’.

He studied Biology and Geology and received his B.S. from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA in 1903 and his M.A. from Clark University in Worcester, MA in 1906, where he was a Fellow in Biology (1903-1905), a Scholar in Chemistry (1905-1906), Honorary Scholar (1906-1907), a Fellow (1907-1908), and Honorary Fellow in Chemistry (1910-1911). He was also an Assistant in Chemistry and Biology (1904-1905), Assistant in Chemistry (1905-1908), and an instructor in Economic Geology and Organic Chemistry (1908-1911) at Clark College in Worcester, MA which was independent of the University. In addition, he was an Assistant Professor of Geology at Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT (1911-1915). 

Lyford married Myrtice Elizabeth (née Forbush) Lyford (1884-1969) on June 16, 1906 in Wareham, MA, and the couple had five children to include: Myrtice Josephine Lyford (Deceased infant, 1909-1909), Rev. Allan Chauncey Lyford (sometimes listed as Allen, 1910-1998, married Janet Richardson-Lyford), Ralph Forbush Lyford (1913-1978, married Shirley Walburg Bryson-Lyford), Barbara Lyford (Deceased infant, 1920-1920), and Ruth Etta Lyford (Mrs. Louis Hamms, 1924-1966). Myrtice’s father, Edward Howe Forbush, was a famous ornithologist, naturalist and writer who was the state ornithologist of Massachusetts for 25 years, and who authored many well-known books on birds. In 1915, the Lyford family moved to East Aurora, NY and resided at 630 Maple Rd. They also maintained a summer home in South Wales, NY.

From 1918 to 1951, Lyford worked as a research chemist at the Buffalo-based plant of the National Aniline Division, Allied Chemical & Dye Corporation, where he held several chemical patents for his work at the company. After his retirement in 1951, he was able to devote more time to his art. Lyford was a member of and exhibited with the East Aurora Paint and Varnish Club (forerunner to the Aurora Arts Club and later known as the East Aurora Art Society) in East Aurora, NY, where he served as chairman of outdoor exhibitions (1956) and as treasurer (1960), as well as exhibited in other venues in and around the Western New York area.

Both his sons, Allan and Ralph also painted and had exhibited along with their father as members of the East Aurora Paint and Varnish Club during the early 1930’s. Their son Allan studied at the Albright Art School and had served during WWII, later becoming a successful insurance executive as resident sales manager of Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. in Buffalo, NY. On July 1, 1949, Allan resigned to study for the ministry at the University of Buffalo and Bexley Hall, the Divinity School of Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, and in 1952, he was ordained as a diaconate in the local Episcopal Church. Their other son, Ralph, had a vision impairment since birth and sadly later lost his eyesight in 1943 from glaucoma, but had operated a successful egg and poultry business. Ralph later became a licensed masseur and opened his own practice in East Aurora.

Chauncey died on March 28, 1967 in East Aurora, NY and his memorial service was held at the First Presbyterian Church Chapel, East Aurora, NY.

 

Chronology:

1880- Born, to Joseph Chauncey Lyford (1853-1909) and Nettie Eliza (née Adams) Lyford (1856-1933) in Worcester, MA, and he had four younger siblings to include: Ralph Adams Lyford (1882-1927), Esther Campbell Lyford (1885-1953), Phillip Lyford (1887-1950) and Katharine Lyford (1891-?)

1903- Studied biology and geology and received his B.S. from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA.

From 1903-1905- He was a Fellow in Biology at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

From 1904-1905- He was an Assistant in Chemistry and Biology at Clark College in Worcester, MA.

From 1905-1906- He was a Scholar in Chemistry at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

From 1905-1908- he was an Assistant in Chemistry at Clark College in Worcester, MA, and resided at 32 Clifton Street in Worcester, MA.

1906- Received his M.A. at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

1906- June 16, Chauncey married Myrtice Elizabeth (née Forbush) Lyford (1884-1969), in Wareham, MA, and the couple had five children to include: Myrtice Josephine Lyford (Deceased infant, 1909-1909), Rev. Allan Chauncey Lyford (1910-1998, married Janet Richardson-Lyford), Ralph Forbush Lyford (1913-1978, married Shirley Walburg Bryson-Lyford), Barbara Lyford (Deceased infant, 1920-1920), and Ruth Etta Lyford (Mrs. Louis Hamms, 1924-1966)

From 1906-1907- He was an Honorary Scholar at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

From 1907-1908- He was a Fellow at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

From 1908-1911- He was an instructor in Economic Geology and Organic Chemistry at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

From 1910-1911- He was an Honorary Fellow in Chemistry at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

From 1911-1915- He was appointed as Assistant Professor of Geology at Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT.

1915- The family moved to East Aurora, NY and they resided at 630 Maple Rd.

From 1918-1951- Chauncey worked as a research chemist at the Buffalo plant of the National Aniline Division, Allied Chemical & Dye Corporation, Buffalo, NY.

 

1929- November 17-24, exhibited, groups show, Annual Exhibition of the East Aurora Paint and Varnish Club, held in Clement Hall (now the Boys & Girls Club), East Aurora, NY.

1931- November 29-December 6, exhibited, group show, “Fifth Annual Exhibition of the East Aurora Paint and Varnish Club”, in Clement Hall (now the Boys & Girls Club), East Aurora, NY.

1940- September 15, Chauncey along with a few other artists exhibited some paintings at the special exhibition on conservation at the East Aurora Flower Show, Chauncey showed a watercolor sketch of soil erosion, East Aurora, NY. November 25-December 1, exhibited, group show, two coastal paintings depicting Nantucket views were shown (an oil and a watercolor), sponsored by the East Aurora Artists Association in observance of National Art Week, held at the Roycroft Chapel, East Aurora, NY.

1941- November 16-23, under the name of the East Aurora Society of Artists—which is the first time that particular incarnation of their name was mentioned in any newspaper articles with artist Carlo Nisita listed as president of the group—held in co-operation with the village Board of Trade in observance of National Art Week, held in the Board of Trade Building, Main Street, East Aurora, NY.

1951- December 30, Chauncey retired from the Buffalo plant of the National Aniline Division, Allied Chemical & Dye Corporation, Buffalo, NY, and he was honored (with two other retirees) at a testimonial dinner on December 27, at the Park Lane Restaurant (The Porter Norton Mansion, AKA Parke Lane, later associated with the Park Lane Condominium/Apartments) on Gates Circle, Buffalo, NY.

1952- July 13, their son Rev. Allan C. Lyford was ordained into the diaconate of the Episcopal Church at St. Matthias Church in East Aurora, NY 

1953- July, exhibited, solo show of paintings at the Elma Public Library, Elma, NY.

1956- June 19-20, exhibited, group outdoor show, “Third Annual Exhibition of the Aurora Arts Club (now the East Aurora Art Society)”, on the grounds of the East Aurora High School, East Aurora, NY. Exhibited, One-man Members’ Show, five landscape paintings shown at the East Aurora Public Library, sponsored by the Aurora Arts Club, East Aurora, NY.

1967- March 28, died in East Aurora, NY and his memorial service was held at the First Presbyterian Church Chapel, East Aurora, NY.  

1969- Chauncey’s wife Myrtice died in East Aurora, NY.

 

Memberships & Associations: Member of the East Aurora Paint and Varnish Club, East Aurora, NY; Member of The Microscopical Section of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, Buffalo, NY.

Awards & Honors: He was an Honorary Scholar (1906-1907) and an Honorary Fellow in Chemistry (1910-1911) at Clark University in Worcester, MA; Honored with a retirement dinner at the Park Lane Restaurant from the Buffalo plant of the National Aniline Division, Allied Chemical & Dye Corporation December 27, 1951, Buffalo, NY. 

(Written & compiled by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., meibohmfinearts.com, Sources: Too long to list here and are furnished upon request.)

 

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