Hezekiah Anthony Dyer was a prolific and accomplished artist who ventured into the equally demanding realms of military affairs, public service, and politics.
Dyer was born in Providence into a storied political family. His grandfather, Elisha Dyer, Sr., was governor of the state from 1857 to 1859 and served as an officer and the adjutant general in the “Dorr War” and the Civil War. Hezekiah’s father, Elisha, Jr., was also elected governor from 1897 to 1900 and served as an artillery sergeant in the Civil War. H.A. Dyer served as an aide-de-camp, with the rank of colonel, throughout the Spanish-American War.
After graduating from Brown in 1894, H.A. Dyer studied art abroad and became particularly adept at producing gorgeous gouache (a method of painting with opaque watercolors mixed with a preparation of gum) and watercolor landscapes in the classic “English” style. He became a highly successful and prolific Rhode Island-based artist and was chosen as president of both the Providence Art Club (1904-1914) and the Providence Watercolor Club. His fine paintings can be found in the Corcoran Gallery, The Rhode Island School of Design, The Providence Art Club, and The Rhode Island Historical Society. Dyer’s panoramic mural of Narragansett Bay still prominently adorns the grand entry hall to the historic Rhode Island landmark–Rhodes on the Pawtuxet.
Although he never sought public office, Dyer served as secretary to his father during his term as governor, became the president of the Rhode Island Republican Club, a member of the Council of Defense, and chairman of the Rhode Island Speakers Bureau. He gave his time selflessly to several local charitable and religious endeavors. Dyer was also an entertaining raconteur and humorist, who loved to tell tales of his yearly European art expeditions and described himself to one admirer as “Rhode Island’s biggest artist–6′ 2 ½", 225 lbs.”
– James P. Marusak, Esquire