Paul Crosthwaite was a modernist painter who first studied at the Art Students League in New York. There he met painter John Sharp, who became his life-long companion. Attracted by the area’s reputation of painting, the two moved to New Hope in 1934. Both men soon found success capturing the area’s historic buildings in their paintings. These works, simple renderings infused with rich color, earned Crosthwaite wide recognition including a Hallmark prize, a Saturday Evening Post cover, and excellent reviews. His oil paintings, rendered with great detail and attention to composition and design, often have a romantic, surreal quality. A thread of mysticism runs through them, whether the subject is a landscape, floral or still life. Crosthwaite also played a role in the founding of the Bucks County Playhouse.
Paul Crosthwaite was a respected member of the New Hope art community. He was born in Pelham Manor, New York, and after studying architecture for two years he decided upon a career as an artist. With that in mind he enrolled in the Art Students League in New York City studying under John Sloan, Raphael Soyer, Yasuo Kunioshi and Morris Kantor. While a student (1932-1934), Sharp met his lifelong companion, the artist Paul Crosthwaite. In 1935, the pair relocated to New Hope, Pennsylvania, where they shared an apartment and studio above the
Solebury National Bank. They became immediately involved with local art and theater efforts, including the founding of the Bucks County Playhouse (1939). Later their home served as a center for the arts, and both men operated personal studios on the property.
After 1945, Crosthwaite and Sharp purchased additional properties in Palm Beach, Florida, and on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts. In both locations, the men maintained studios and continued to teach art. They both summered on Nantucket and painted for the Main Street Gallery. By 1955, their primary residence was in Florida. Sharp died in 1966.