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 Thomas Doughty  (1793 - 1856)

About: Thomas Doughty
 

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Lived/Active: District Of Columbia/New York/Pennsylvania/Massach / Europe      Known for: landscape and some marine painting, graphics, illustration

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BIOGRAPHY for Thomas Doughty
Facts/Data
Birth
1793 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
 
Death
1856 (New York City)

Lived/Active
District Of Columbia/New York/Pennsylvania/Massach / Europe

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landscape and some marine painting, graphics, illustration

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Categories of Interest

Hudson River School Painters
Paris Pre 1900
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Philadelphia, Thomas Doughty was the first American artist to work exclusively as a landscapist and was successful both for his skill and the fact that Americans were turning their interest to landscape.  He was known for his quiet, often atmospheric landscapes of the rivers and mountains of Pennsylvania, New York, especially the Hudson River Valley, and New England.

A criticism of his work was that "there was often more of Doughty in his landscapes than there was of the location he painted." His landscapes were popular early in his career, but he was surpassed by Thomas Cole and other Hudson River painters in the view of a public that wearied of his work that was perceived as "over-mannered and too unspecific compared to that of his successors." (Zellman 112)

Doughty was trained in leather manufacturing but turned to art as leisure activity and received only three months of training in India-ink drawing.  In 1820, he turned to art completely, and by 1822, was exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and two years later was elected an academician.  In 1827, he was elected an honorary member of the National Academy of Design.

He was also a creative lithographer, and from 1830 to 1834, published with his brother a monthly journal called Cabinet of Natural History and American Rural Sports.  In this publication, birds and animals were drawn precisely with landscape backgrounds by Doughty.

Doughty spent much of his life in Baltimore, Washington, Boston, and New York City, but for much of the time made his home in Philadelphia until 1832 when he moved to Boston.  After five years in Boston, he went to England for two years.  On his return to America in 1838, Doughty lived for a time in New York City, but in 1839-40 he was at Newburgh, New York on the Hudson River.

He returned in 1841 to New York City, where he remained, except for a second trip to Europe (1845-46) and a brief residence in western New York (1852-54), until his death, whose date is uncertain. Some give his death date as 1856, but census records indicate he was still alive in 1860.  He spent the last 20 years of his career in New York City.

Source:
Groce & Wallace The New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
John J. Henderson, white mountainart.com

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Thomas Doughty (1793 - after 1860)

Thomas Doughty's first vocation was as a leather currier.  It was not until 1820, at the age of almost 30, that he decided, "contrary to the wishes of my friends and family, to pursue painting as a profession."  Encouraged by Thomas Sully, Doughty painted the scenery around Philadelphia and learned to master the effects of light and shade and the use of color.  His first visit to New England was probably between 1820 and 1828.

He was elected to membership at the National Academy of Design in 1827.  He exhibited at the National Academy, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Boston Athenaeum during the same period.
From 1828 to 1838 he lived and worked in Boston, traveling in the summer to the White Mountains.  Doughty, Alvan Fisher, and Chester Harding stayed at Thompson's Tavern in North Conway in those early years for two dollars a week.  He journeyed to England in 1838 to 1839 and again from 1845 to 1847.

By the time of his death, Doughty's popularity as an artist had waned.  Though he was one of the first artists to visit the White Mountains, his paintings were generally modest and unspectacular.  James Thomas Flexner wrote of Doughty that his was "the first incomplete statement of the style of the Hudson River School."
References

1860 census, Brooklyn, NY
New Hampshire Scenery

Written and submitted by John J. Henderson, White Mountain Art & Artists


Biography from Q.M.R. Fine Art Consulting, LLC:
Thomas Doughty is a much recognized Hudson River School artist of the early 18th Century.  His artwork focused on serene landscape and was inspired by scenery of Pennsylvania and New York, especially the Hudson River Valley, and also New England areas.

The Hudson River School movement was one of America's first schools of paintings and derives from a group of 19th-century landscape painters working in New York state.  With realistic composition, they depicted romantic views of unsettled areas of the Hudson River Valley especially lakes, rocky gorges, and forests in the Catskill Mountains.

For the most part there are several well known and well respected artists of this genre. Typically their artwork was unsigned, however, as the movement grew several artists tended to lead the pack with their more recognized and highly trained images. Thomas Doughty is recognized as one of them.


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