Walter Ronald Locke was an etcher best known for his landscapes. He resided in Florida and many of his surviving works are of Florida scenes, although he also made prints of places elsewhere in the United States. Locke was born in Winchester, Massachusetts, and studied art under Louis Kronbert and Alfred Hutty. During his lifetime, he exhibited at the Library of Congress and Society of American Etchers.
He was also affiliated with Associated American Artists, an organization founded to produce and market fine art prints nationwide. The latter marketed his prints with a biography that noted "[h]is works are often the results of months of study, and of an almost impossible amount of long hard work, so that every least bit of foliage may be accurate and detailed." His works are in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Carnegie Museums, Pittsburgh; the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown; and the Yale University Art Gallery.
"W. R. Locke spent twelve years actually living and working in the woods, without ever once coming out to a civilized center, for he loves trees and spends his Summers with them in the hill country and his Winters with them in the South depicting them in copper. His works are often the results of months of study, and of an almost impossible amount of long hard work, so that every least bit of foilage may be accurate and detailed. They have a simplicity which reflects his own meticulous care in their production.
Locke received his art training under Louis Kronberg and Alfred Hutty. He was awarded First Prize in the 1938 Annual Exhibit of the St. Petersberg Art Club, as well as the 1943 and 1944 awards from the Florida Federation of Art. Numerous etchings of his which we have presented have been acquired by Yale University, Wesleyan University, Iowa State College, Berea College, William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Binghamton Museum of Fine Arts, Cornell University, Skidmore College, Syracuse University, Brooklyn College, and Robert Hull Fleming Museum."