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Francis Speight, Landscape Painter, Dead at 93

November 17, 1989

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) _ Francis Speight, a landscape painter known for his scenes of Philadelphia and North Carolina, has died. He was 93.

Speight died at his Greenville home on Tuesday.

He was a painter with gentlemanly manners who captured the cloud-dappled skies of Philadelphia and the looming pines of Eastern North Carolina with lyrical grace and informality. His style blended a concern for fleeting effects of light and atmosphere along with a bedrock sense of place.

Collectors, dealers and museum officials said his reputation extended beyond the state and interest was in rising in his work and life, as well as prices of his paintings.

His paintings are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

″He was more than a regionalist, and his work had an impact throughout the United States,″ said Richard S. Schneiderman, director of the North Carolina Museum of Art.

In Philadelphia, Speight is considered ″one of the most important painters of the Philadelphia scene,″ said Carl Jorgensen, the Washington dealer whose gallery represents the artist. An exhibition of the artist’s work opens at the gallery at the end of the month.

Speight was born Sept. 11, 1896, in Windsor in Bertie County. As a boy, he disliked farm chores but showed an aptitude for writing and drawing. In 1915, Speight enrolled at Wake Forest College and began taking art lessons at Meredith College.

In 1920, Speight enrolled at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington and later went on to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied under the noted American impressionist Daniel Garber and became a teacher in 1925.

His wife, Sarah Blakeslee, is also a landscape painter.

In addition to his wife, Speight is survived by two children.

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