LOW, WILL HICOK American artist and writer, was born in Albany, N.Y., on May 31, 1853. He went to Paris in 1873 where he studied with Jean Leon Gerome and later with Carolus Duran (1874-77). Returning to New York in 1877 he became a member of the Society of American Artists at its foundation. In 1880, he found his first opening for his interest in decoration as assistant to John La Farge, then engaged in the painted and stained glass adornment of the houses of W. H. and Cornelius Vanderbilt. It was not until 12 years later (1892) that Low was able to sign a work of his own, a large ceiling (26ft.x 34ft.) in the Hotel Waldorf. Subsequently, when the larger unit was added to this building and the hotel became the Waldorf Astoria, he painted 20 panels for the decoration of the great ball-room (1897). Meanwhile he had painted many small pic tures of decorative intent, designed much stained glass for churches, and made many illustrative designs, of which those for the "Lamia" and "Odes and Sonnets" of John Keats (1885– 87) were the most successful. He also designed the diplomas of
award for the World's Fairs at Chicago, 1893, and St. Louis, He conducted classes in art at Cooper Union from 1882-85 and in the school of the National Academy of Design from 1889-92. In A Chronicle of Friendships (1908), Low told of his intimate friendship with R. L. Stevenson, Augustus Saint Gaudens and others. In 1910 in A Painter's Progress, he embodied the lectures given under the Scammon Foundation, before the Art institute of Chicago, the same year. His principal mural paintings are in county court-houses in Newark, N.J., and Wilkesbarre, Pa., the U.S. Federal building in Cleveland, 0., and in the legislative library of the New York State capitol, Albany, N.Y., in which city he also executed 32 mural paintings (1912-18) for the State education building. A war picture (also of a decorative cast) "Victory" is in Earl hall, Columbia university, New York city (1920).