Born in Rockport, Massachusetts, in 1888, William Lester Stevens was a landscape painter and teacher. The artist received art training from Parker Perkins, a local marine painter in Rockport and later studied for four years at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts School with Tarbell. He continued his art education in Europe after joining the army in 1917.
From 1925 to 1926, Stevens taught art at Boston University and at Princeton from 1927 to 1929. Inspired by the landscape around Ashville and Charlotte, the artist lived for a number of years in Western North Carolina and, in 1939, had a one-man exhibition of 50 canvases at the Mint Museum in Charlotte.
William Lester Stevens was primarily an oil painter but also worked in watercolors and acrylics. The artist preferred painting thick post-impressionist canvases, but towards the end of his art career, Stevens used translucent thin washes of paint. Paintings by Stevens are in the permanent collections of Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Museum of Art and at the Asheville Museum of Art and the Hickory Museum of Art in North Carolina.