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 William Howard Hart  (1863 - 1937)

About: William Howard Hart


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

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BIOGRAPHY for William Hart
1863 (Fishkill-on-Hudson, New York)

New York

Self portrait - William Howard Hart - Self Portrait

Often Known For
landscape, portrait and interiors scene painting

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Cornish Colony
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A landscape and portrait painter, William Howard Hart studied in New York with J. Alden Weir and at the Art Students League as well as in Paris in the 1890s with Gustave Boulanger and Jules Lefebvre at the Academy Julian.

Shortly after he returned from Paris, Herbert and Adeline Adams invited him to Cornish, New Hampshire where he painted landscapes and figure works, some with Adeline Adams as the subject. He also purchased property near the Adams in Plainfield, and when in residence, devoted as much time to acting in the theater as to his artwork.

He died unmarried on February 20, 1937 and left most of his estate to Herbert Adams.

Hart exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, Paris Salon of 1889 and 1890, National Academy of Design, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Virginia Reed Colby and James B. Atkinson, Footprints of the Past.

Biography from Cornish Colony Museum:
The following is from Alma Gilbert, Director of the Museum

William Howard Hart, 1863-1937 was indeed a member of the Cornish Colony. I don't know if he was a relative of James MacDougal Hart (1828-1901) and his older brother William Hart (1823-1894). I've often wondered if he might have been William Hart's son. The dates could conceivably fit. The St. Johnsbury Atheneum has the paintings of all three Harts. The older Harts were more landscape painters. You could always spot a Hart painting! It always came with the ubiquitous ruminating cow. The younger Hart (the Cornish Colony William Howard Hart) would deviate from the cows to paint lovely portraits from time to time.

When Hart returned from his art studies in Paris, he migrated to Cornish. Here, he found other Paris expatriates like Charles Platt, Herbert Adams, Henry Walker and Thomas Dewing. He lived next door and was very close to Herbert and Adeline Adams.

Wm Howard also dabbled in the stage. He built a large amphitheater with Adams behind their house, which was the place of several amateur theatricals. Hart was instrumental in conning Maxfield Parrish to do the design for a stage set, which was then painted by the local artists and is still Plainfield's chief claim to fame.

He acted out in the Masque for Saint-Gaudens in 1905 and was also part of the Bird Masque that included President Woodrow Wilson's daughters in residence that year.

Many of the artists of the Cornish Colony were also avid gardeners, and Hart was no exception. The gardens between his house and the Adams was the wonder of the colony. When he died, he bequeathed his work, his house and his garden to the Adamses.

The Cornish Colony Museum has one of his works in permanent collection: a ruminating cow! No surprise here. It must have been genetic! I bet he was related to the other two Harts!

It's interesting that his charming little house, which dates back to the 1799 was actually disassembled and moved to a nearby shopping center where it now houses a small business, but with a plaque denoting its origins as the Charles Gilkey House, Plainfield, NH, ca.1799.

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