William Lester Stevens was born and raised in Rockport, Massachusetts, where he began studying painting as a youth with the artist Parker Perkins. By the age of eighteen, he had exhibited his first piece at the National Academy of Design and entered the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School.
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During the 1920s and 1930s, Stevens became well known for his New England landscapes. Always a realist, he participated in the Federal Art Project during the Great Depression and produced murals for post offices in Rockport and Dedham, Massachusetts, as well as for a number of schools in the city of Boston.
Stevens belonged to an endless list of watercolor associations and fine art clubs and exhibited at an equally impressive number of venues. A National Academician, he exhibited in Washington, Kentucky, Maine, Utah, and Alabama, as well as locally in Boston at the Art Club and Vose Galleries in 1940.
Estate in Brookline, Massachusetts; friend of the artist