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 Samuel Lancaster Gerry  (1813 - 1891)

About: Samuel Lancaster Gerry


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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: landscape, still life, portrait and genre painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Samuel Gerry
1813 (Boston, Massachusetts)
1891 (Boston, Massachusetts)


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landscape, still life, portrait and genre painting

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Hudson River School Painters
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A leader of the White Mountain School of painting in the 1840s, Samuel Gerry painted in the Hudson River style and also was among the Hudson River School artists who painted in that geographical area.  He also painted occasional views of the Hudson River Valley including in 1858, a painting titled West Point, Hudson River, and Sailing on the Hudson (undated).  In addition, he was noted for portrait, genre and animal subjects, and sometimes he copied the works of other artists such as several by New York artist George Harvey (1800-1878) and by William Henry Bartlett (1809-1854). 

According to Shannon's auction catalogue of 10/24/2002: Samuel Gerry and James Burt were close artistic friends and lived across the street from each other in Boston.  In 1836, they collaborated on a series of Boston views for the engines of the Boston Fire Company.  Over the years, the two would collaborate on landscapes that became engravings, especially those of William Henry Bartlett, English painter and engraver.

Gerry was born in Boston and had no formal art training.  It is thought that major American influences on his work were Hudson River School painters Asher Durand and Thomas Cole as well as artists he met on his travels in Europe between 1837 and 1840.

When he returned to America, he set up a studio in Boston and made many trips from there to New Hampshire.   He exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum and was a founder of the Boston Art Club, organized 1854.  In 1858, he served as the Club's President. He made two return trips to Italy, 1850 to 1854 and 1873 to 1875.

Sources include:
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art
Groce and Wallace, Dictionary of Artists in America
Shannon's Auction House

Biography from Boston Art Club:
Samuel Lancaster Gerry was born and died in Boston.  In 1854 a group of Boston artists, including Gerry, formed an association that they called The Boston Art Club.  S.L.Gerry was president for a term during the period between 1854 and The Boston Art Club's first incorporation in 1871.  In 1868 he was a Trustee.

Gerry was considered a formidable force in the local Boston scene, and became a teacher to a few talented local young artists, including the famous artist Joseph Frank Currier.  It has been noted that several versions of his White Mountain and Adirondack Paintings of the 1870s were composites of sketches done in different distant locations, melded together with varied foregrounds to create panoramic vistas of the mountains.

The industrial cities of Boston and New York were turning their sites to the disappearing Eastern wilderness at this time and views and news of the then far away reaches became popular, albeit occasionally fictitious.

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