Charles Lyle Holley, Pensacola. Oil on artist board 12 by 15 inches. Titled Through the Rigging, with Florida Federation of Art 9th Annual Exhibition,1935 on back. Painting needs cleaning.
Born at the turn of the century Charles Holley and his family settled in what was then Oklahoma Territory. He saw the Territory become the 46th state in 1907. Holley’s playmates were Choctaws, he went to school with the Cherokees and later, as a high school teacher, he taught among the Osage Indians. In college Holley studied engineering, architecture, and art. He joined the U. S. Naval Reserve and served in World War I. Later his tours of duty took him and his family throughout much of the United States and Canada, always carrying with him a kit of sketch pads, paints, and brushes. Holley came to Pensacola in 1928 as an instructor at the Pensacola Vocational School for Boys. He wrote an article on display art for the December 1932 issue of Signs of the Times, a national journal of display advertising. Henry McLellan Jr. was teaching commercial art at the vocational school and Holley became one of his students. The following year Holley was appointed director of the school. When the Federal Art Project began in Pensacola in January of 1936, Holley led the commercial art section. Influential in obtaining federal government assistance in moving the vocational school to the Pensacola Naval Air Station, in 1941 Holley was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U. S. Navy. By 1944 he was Lt. Commander Holley, vocational training officer at the Air Station. With 64 students enrolled in 1941, by 1950 there were 547 shop students and 360 in the commercial department, many training under the GI Bill. Holley remained in Pensacola until 1963 when he retired and moved to Annapolis, Maryland. Finding that there were no organized statewide art groups, and after discussions with artists throughout the state, Holley helped found the Maryland Federation of Art.
Education: University of Oklahoma; in Pensacola with Henry H. McLellan Jr. Membership: Pensacola Art Club, president, 1935; Florida Federation of Art; Southern States Art League; Maryland Federation of Art, founding member; Baltimore Watercolor Club. Exhibits: Pensacola Art Club, May 1933; Florida Federation of Art annual circuit, 1933, an oil, Still Life; Pensacola Art Club, April 1934, Fishing Boats, Bayou Texas, Lagoon; San Carlos Hotel, Pensacola for National Maritime Celebration, May 1935, second prize for an oil of fishing smacks at the dock, Pensacola; Florida Federation of Art, annual circuit, 1935, oils, Oklahoma in June and honorable mention for Palafox Wharf; Pensacola Art Club, spring exhibit, May 1936, oils, Old Pest House, Innerarity Point, watercolors, Loading, On The Waterfront; Pensacola Federal Gallery, November, 1937, one man exhibit of oils and watercolors of Pensacola; Pensacola Federal Gallery, Christmas exhibit, December 1937, Pensacola watercolors; Pensacola Art Club, May 23-June 5, 1938, Pensacola Federal Galleries, Palafox Wharf, Florida Scene; San Carlos Hotel, Pensacola, December 1938, Kiwanis cub exhibit of members art work, watercolors and oils of the Pensacola waterfront; Maryland Fine Arts Festival, 1966, abstractions including Gorgon in the Two Worlds; Annapolis-Anne Arundel Library, North County branch, November 1969.