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 John Dodgson Barrow  (1824 - 1907)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: landscape, figure and portrait painting

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Ad Code: 3
John Dobson Barrow
from Auction House Records.
Autumn Hillside Landscape
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A landscape painter of the second generation of the Hudson River School, John Dodgson Barrow grew up in England, moving to the the United States in 1843.  He ran a bookstore in Skaneateles, New York, until 1856 at which time he established himself as a painter in New York City.

He occupied a studio adjoining that of his friend, Charles Loring Elliot.  During this time he fulfilled portrait commissions, most notably his portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Another friend, George Inness, encouraged his interest in landscape painting.

Most of his landscape paintings developed from sketches and memories of his frequent trips to his family's home in Skaneateles, New York, where he eventually returned in 1876.  He painted at Lake Ontario, Lake George, Lake Champlain, the Thousand Islands, and in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Barrow exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum in 1866 and 1867, the National Academy of Design from 1852 to 1888, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1865 to 1869 and 1882.

Peter Falk (ed.), Who Was Who in American Art

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Perhaps Barrow’s greatest legacy is the John D. Barrow Art Gallery, which opened to the public in 1900.  A red brick building, it was designed, built and donated to the Skaneateles community by the artist. 

Under the trust establishing the Gallery, it may display Barrow’s works only. As of 2012, the Gallery’s collection includes 426 of them.  It is located at 49 East Genesee Street, Skaneateles, New York adjoining the Skaneateles Library.

John A. McKinney, Jr.

Biography from John D. Barrow Art Gallery:
John Dodgson Barrow (1824 - 1906) is one of those relatively rare artists equally admired for portraits and landscapes. Born in New York City, in 1839 he moved with his family to the small central New York town of Skaneateles. This move was to prove hugely important to Barrow the artist: the majority of his paintings are of people and places located in or near this Finger Lakes village.

Shortly after this move, Barrow was sent to England for his schooling, there he began his lifelong study of painting. On his return he moved to New York City. There in 1856 he opened a studio next to that of Charles Loring Elliott (1817 - 1868), one of America's leading portraitists and a former resident of Skaneateles. Barrow deeply admired and was influenced by Elliott. During this period Barrow sketched Abraham Lincoln when he spoke at Cooper Union in 1860. The resulting portrait, probably Barrow's best-know, is currently owned and displayed by the Chicago Historical Society.

Another influence on Barrow while he lived in New York City was George Inness (1825 - 1894), who encouraged Barrow's new interest in landscape painting. Inness in his early years was associated with the Hudson River School of Art, in time, Barrow's art was classified as "second generation" Hudson River School. Both Inness and Barrow show a thorough knowledge of nature, and their landscapes glorify it, especially their use of light.

Between 1852 and 1879, Barrow's works were included in 19 of the Annual Exhibitions of the National Academy. His paintings were also included in exhibits at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Boston's Athenaeum, and the Union League of New York City. Many of these works were oils completed in the winter based on sketches and memories of Skaneateles when Barrow visited in summer.

Barrow returned to Skaneateles for good in the 1880's. He not only continued to paint but involved himself in civic and church affairs, taught in the Department of Fine Arts at Syracuse University, and wrote both poetry and art criticism. He designed the Soldiers and Sailors monument that stands in Skaneateles Lake View Cemetery. In 1900 he designed and built, at his own expense, the John D. Barrow Art Gallery to best display his paintings. He continued to paint until his death in 1906.

In addition to the more than 300 paintings in the Gallery's collection, Barrow's works hang in the Onondaga County Public Library in Syracuse. Other paintings belong to private collectors.

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