Alumni Notes: Edmund W. Pease '57

Alumni Notes: Edmund W. Pease '57

Edmund W. Pease '57

Edmund W. Pease has lived a double life since graduating from GS: He pursued careers as a management executive and as a visual artist, simultaneously, and has made his mark in both. While rising up to vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank, Pease, under the nom de brosse, or brush name, Lancelot opened four solo exhibitions in New York as well as shows in Bangkok. Fifteen of his works are held in nine institutional and corporate collections, including a major painting in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Fine Arts in Amman, Jordan and the National Gallery of Thailand. Today he lives on a small island in Thailand and recently published his first book, River of Silence.

River of Silence is a compilation of music-inspired artwork by Pease and two other artists that was on exhibit at the National Gallery in Bangkok. Alongside the artwork are essays and commentary by a variety of music and art professionals, creating a dialogue on the aesthetic relationship between the two fields. Pease considers River of Silence a culminating event in his career as a visual artist. The title of the book and exhibit is taken from a quotation by Khalil Gibran: “Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.”

Moving back and forth between the worlds of banking and art took a special kind of discipline. Pease not only devoted long hours to his executive duties, but he was also a committee volunteer for a number of arts organizations and for GS as well. He said, in an email, “I recall working 60-70 hours for the bank  while devoting an additional 20-30 hours per week to volunteer commitments…During this period I was making small-scale works, mainly collages, that could be completed in a few hours at one setting…Sometimes I would awake from a dream in the middle of the night, get up to make a quick sketch, then return to bed, leaving the actual execution of the work until several days later when I had time to complete it.” It’s not hard to see, then, why Pease has taken to heart choreographer Garth Fagan’s favorite and oft-repeated dictum: Discipline is Freedom.

“The passion and commitment to make art is always present in me!” wrote Pease, and it is the discipline that ensures he completes his artworks—even though he says that the lapse time from initial inspiration to complete, fully realized work might stretch from weeks to years.