Robert Hale Ives Gammell (1893 - 1981) was born to wealth in Providence, Rhode Island and spent the majority of his artistic life in Boston at the Fenway Studios and in Williamstown, MA, where he died in 1981. In 1910, Gammell studied briefly with William C. Loring and Wm. Sergeant Kendall before training in 1913 at Boston's Museum School with Philip Hale, F.W. Benson and Edmund C. Tarbell for a few months. That was the year Benson and Tarbell resigned from the school.
Gammell then went to Provincetown, MA to study with Charles Hawthorn and then to the Academie Julian in Paris and the Academie Baschet until the end of 1914. He was tremendously influenced by the teachings of Tarbell and the work of Joseph DeCamp and William M. Paxton (whose estate of paintings Gammell inherited when Elizabeth died). He was so influenced by the Boston School he vowed to hand down their teaching traditions to generations of students and he did exactly that. Some of the painters who are "Gammellites" are Samuel Rose, Thomas R. Dunlay, Robert Cormier, Richard Lack, Gary Hoffman, Stephen Gjerston, Robert Douglas Hunter, David Lowrey, David Curtis, Richard Whitney and hundreds of others.
Gammell was a serious, strict painting instructor who insisted upon students learning to draw from the cast, learn the bed-bug line approach to seeing light and shadows and the sight size methods to seeing objects correctly. Students learned for years to draw before advancing to oil painting.
Gammell is known as a Classical Realist whose subject focus upon mythological, biblical, surreal figural works, portraiture and landscapes. He was a member of the Guild of Boston Artists, Providence Art Club, New York Society of Painters, Allied Artists of America, Newport Art Association, Tavern Club and St. Botolph Club (of Boston) and the New York Society of Mural Painters. Disliking juried exhibitions, Gammell only won awards at the Newport AA (1936) and the Allied Artists of America (1941). He authored, "Twilight of Painting" (1946); Dennis Miller Bunker; The Shop Talk of Edgar Degas; "A Pictorial Sequence based on 'The Hound of Heaven' by Francis Thompson," and The Boston School, 1900-1930 which was published posthumously. Gammell is credited for having handed down centuries of artistic tradition that was taught by Tarbell and Benson to generations of students who have become successful in their own right.