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Joseph Crilley. Photograph by Jack Rosen, 1996. Image courtesy of the artist. James A. Michener Art Museum archives.

Joseph Crilley was a successful photographer, painter, illustrator, and writer. Known for his vibrant colors and realistic style, Crilley studied art in night classes until World War II interrupted his plans. He enlisted in the service and was assigned to Europe as a paratrooper. Crilley's later travels in Europe resulted in beautifully detailed pen and ink drawings of the great cathedrals. Best known for his realistic images of towns and street scenes, some of his earlier work employed the tromp l'oeil style, depicting objects in such lifelike detail so much so that someone once tried to pick up his painting of a one-dollar bill.

Crilley moved to New Hope in 1948, where he began painting in earnest and taught art at the New Hope-Solebury High School. He left teaching to become a photographer, continuing to paint and exhibit while pursuing a very active photography career. In addition to his professional assignments, he produced a book of his photographs and wrote articles for local papers accompanied by his photos. An avid fisherman, Crilley wrote articles on the sport for the Lambertville Beacon and illustrated the subject for several magazines.

Joseph Crilley. Photograph by Jack Rosen, 1996. Image courtesy of the artist. James A. Michener Art Museum archives.

Education & Community

Education and Training
Philadelphia School of Industrial Arts (University of the Arts), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, night school, 1939-1941, 1957-1959
Fleisher Memorial, Graphic Sketch Club, 1939-1941
Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1948-1949
Apprentice toolmaker

Teachers and Influences
Influenced by the Great Dutch Masters, Vermeer and Rembrandt, as well as the Italian Renaissance and French and English painters

Connection to Bucks County
Joseph Crilley first came to Bucks County in 1935 as a boy scout from Philadelphia to go camping at Bowman's Hill near New Hope. At that time, he said that he would one day live in Bucks County. True to his word, he moved to New Hope in 1948 and remained a Bucks County resident until his death in 2008.

Colleagues and Affiliations
Ranulph Bye, Vincent Ceglia, James Wolfe, Jack Rosen, Harry Rosin, Harry Haenigsen, John Folinsbee, Harry Leith-Ross, and Walter Baum
Crilley taught art at the New Hope-Solebury High School, where he developed the yearbook into a work of art and inspired his students to produce an anti-establishment satire People Please!. He was known locally for his realistic paintings of houses and yards in the New Hope-Lambertville area. An avid fisherman, he wrote articles about the sport for The Lambertville Beacon from the late 1960s to the early 1980s and has depicted the annual shad fishing in Lambertville in several of his paintings. He was a supporter of the Concordia Chamber Players of New Hope and painted the cover for their program.


Major Solo Exhibitions
Doylestown Education Building, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1960
Crest Gallery, Holicong, Pennsylvania, 1962
Charley's Barber Shop, Lambertville, New Jersey, 1966, 1967
Lambertville House, Lambertville, New Jersey, 1976-1980, 1982-1985
Kiski School, Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, 1985
Genest Gallery, Lambertville, New Jersey, 1986-1991
Artfull Eye Gallery, Lambertville, New Jersey, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
Paul Gratz Gallery, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 2000, 2001, 2002

One Man Photographic Exhibitions
Mt. St. Mary's College, Hookset, New Hampshire
Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, Virginia
Lambertville House, Lambertville, New Jersey
Chatwell Manor School, Mendham
Rider College, Trenton, New Jersey

Major Group Exhibitions
Art Alliance, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Liscombe Lodge, Liscombe, Nova Scotia, Canada
Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, Maryland
National Arts Club, New York, New York
Second Philadelphia Arts Festival, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1959
Trenton City Museum, Trenton, New Jersey
Woodmere Art Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Coryell Gallery, Lambertville, New Jersey, 1981
Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1963-1994
Phillips Mill Annual Juried Exhibition, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1977, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1990
Audubon Artists at The National Academy of Design, 1964, 1988-1997
Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1990
Christmas Show with Cortland Butterfield, Genest Gallery, Lambertville, New Jersey, 1991
Mystic International, Connecticut, 1991-1997
Silvermine, Connecticut, 1991
Audubon Artists, New York, New York, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993-1997
Doylestown Art League, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1995
Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1985, 1990, 1995
Coryell Gallery, Lambertville, New Jersey, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1994
Salmagundi Club, New York, New York, 1962, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997


Exchange Club, map of New Hope, 1976
Eagle Fire Company, gift to Continental Bank of New Hope, 1987

New York: Island of Islands
, photographs by Joseph Crilley, text by Arthur Carduner, New York, 1965
Crilley in Europe
, printed by Wiliam J. Keller, Inc., 1968

Illustrations and covers for:
The Quaker City Scout M
agazine, 1938, 1939
Pennsylvania Angler
, 1970, 1971
Yankee Magazine
, 1982, 1983
Atlantic Salmon Journal
, 1991, 1992, 1995
Concordia Chamber Players program

Crilley's photographs have been used in more than 400 catalogs, brochures, admissions and department pieces in colleges and universities, as well as Time-Life books, Graphis (Switzerland), IBM Corporation, New Jersey State Museum, Newark Museum, Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum, Winterthur Museum, Outdoor Life, Rod and Gun of Canada, Popular Photography, Professional Photographers of America, American Artist, Antiques Magazine, Travel and Leisure, American Booksellers, Arts & Antiques, Forbes, and others.

Awards & Appointments

Teaching and Professional Appointments
Art Teacher, New Hope-Solebury High School, New Hope, 1955-1961

Major Awards
New Jersey Grant for Photographic Essay, New Jersey Grant-in-Aid, New Jersey Historical Commision, 1975
Gold Medal, Da Vinci Art Alliance, 1980, 1991, 1995
Best in Show Award, Phillips' Mill Community Association, 1983
Theodore W. Sommer Award, Phillips' Mill Community Association, 1985
Winning Design, Borough Seal, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1989
Award of Excellence, Mystic International, Mystic, Connecticut, 1991
Anthony Cirino Award, Audubon Artist, New York, 1992
Grumbacher Gold Medal, Audubon Artists, New York, 1996
Alice B. Reynolds Award, Salmagundi Club Thumb Box Show, New York, 1995
Second Award, Philadelphia Sketch Club Small Oil Annual, 1995

Affiliations and Memberships
Co-chair with John Foster, Phillips' Mill Community Association, 1975
Sole Juror, Mercer City Photo Exhibit, 1978
Juror, An Artistic Discovery, National High School Art Competition, 1982
Juror, Salmagundi Club, New York City, 1993
Juror, New Hope Outdoor Arts and Crafts Festival, 1995
Member, Da Vinci Art Alliance
Member, Philadelphia Sketch Club
Samagundi Club, New York
Audubon Artists, New York

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