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Bodmer, Karl (11 February 1809–30 October 1893), artist, was born in Zurich, Switzerland, the son of Heinrich Bodmer, a cotton merchant, and his second wife Elisabeth Meier. After a brief elementary education, Bodmer was apprenticed to his uncle Johann Jakob Meier, from whom he learned sketching, engraving, and watercolor, the medium of his finest works....

Article

Chapman, John Gadsby (11 August 1808–28 November 1889), artist, was born in Alexandria, Virginia, the son of Charles T. Chapman, a businessman, and Sarah Margaret Gadsby. He was named for his maternal grandfather John Gadsby, a well-known tavern keeper. Chapman grew up in Alexandria and attended the academy there. Early on he displayed an interest in art, which was encouraged by the artists ...

Article

Gifford, Robert Swain (23 December 1840–15 January 1905), artist, was born on Nonamesset Island near Wood’s Hole, Massachusetts, the son of William Tillinghast Gifford, a boatman, and Annie Eldridge. He was named for Robert Swain, the late invalid son of William W. Swain, a prosperous New Bedford merchant who employed Gifford’s father. When he was two, Gifford’s family moved to Fairhaven, Massachusetts, where he spent his youth attending the local school and working around the wharves. As the son of an impecunious waterman, Gifford would have had an education limited to the grammar school of Fairhaven had it not been for the kindly encouragement of Mrs. Swain, who saw to it that he studied French, literature, and music and acquired the manners and bearing of a gentleman....

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Childe Hassam. Photograph by Arnold Genthe. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G39-T-8043-014).

Article

Hassam, Childe (17 October 1859–27 August 1935), painter, illustrator, and graphic artist, was born Frederick Childe Hassam in Dorchester, Massachusetts, the son of Frederick Fitch Hassam, an antiques dealer and cutlery merchant, and Rose Delia Hawthorne. The family name was a derivation of the original Puritan name Horsham....

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Rockwell Kent Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1933. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-42519).

Article

Kent, Rockwell (21 June 1882–13 March 1971), artist, was born in Tarrytown Heights, New York, the son of Rockwell Kent, an attorney and mining engineer, and Sara Ann Holgate. Kent spent his infancy and early childhood in privileged circumstances, at family homes in Tarrytown, New York City, and on Long Island. When he was five his father died, and henceforth family resources were limited. Kent was not told of his father’s death and had to infer the news himself; when his suspicions were confirmed he reacted angrily and began misbehaving. To improve his behavior, his mother sent him to a military boarding school when he was ten, with the help of scholarships and financial assistance from an aunt who noticed his nascent artistic talent....

Article

Marsh, Reginald (14 March 1898–30 July 1954), artist and teacher, was born in Paris, France, the son of Fred Dana Marsh, a painter-muralist of modern industry and New York City skyscrapers, and Alice Randall, a painter of miniatures. In 1900 the family moved to exclusive Nutley, New Jersey. Marsh grew up in a home filled with his parents’ art; reproductions of Rubens, Rembrandt, Titian, and Tintoretto; art books; brushes; canvases; and living models. He received no art instruction from his parents, however....

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Thomas Moran. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-115323).

Article

Moran, Thomas (12 January 1837–25 August 1926), artist, was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England, the son of Thomas Moran, a weaver, and Mary Higson. In 1844 Moran left England with his mother and siblings to join his father, who had recently immigrated to Philadelphia. After an elementary education, he was indentured in 1853 to a wood engraving firm, a position he left in 1856. Moran then worked closely with his elder brother ...