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 Anthony Thieme  (1888 - 1954)

About: Anthony Thieme
 

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/California      Known for: coastal landscape and townscape painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Anthony Thieme
Facts/Data
Birth
1888 (Rotterdam, Holland)
 
Death
1954 (Rockport, Massachusestts)

Lived/Active
Massachusetts/California


Self portrait


Often Known For
coastal landscape and townscape painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Anthony Thieme was born on February 20, 1888 in Rotterdam, Holland. He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague, Holland, under George Hacker; Garlobini, Guardaciona; and Mancini in Italy. He also studied in Germany.

In the 1920's he emigrated to the United States, initially residing in New York City where he painted Broadway backdrops, and eventually setting up studios in Rockport, Massachusetts and St. Augustine, Florida, seasonally moving from one to the other.

Known as a genre painter he did landscapes including farms, and Paris scenes; his best known works are of boats, fishermen, and harbors, reflecting his Northern and Southern studios in coastal towns. In Rockport, he established the Thieme School of Art where he was Director.

Thieme was a strong proponent of the visual arts and held memberships in many associations: American Water Color Society; Art Alliance of America; Salmagundi Club; Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts; Boston Art Club; Providence Water Color Club; Boston Society of Artists; North Shore Art Association; Springfield Art League; Rockport Art Association; New York Water Color Club; American Artists Professional League; Gloucester Society of Artists; Art Alliance of Philadelphia; Philadelphia Painters Club; and the National Arts Club.

As a function of these many memberships, he was an active exhibitor: National Academy of Design 1930-1934; Art Institute of Chicago 1930; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1929-1931; Corcoran Gallery of Art 1932; Los Angeles Museum of Art 1930, 1931 (prize); Albright Art Gallery 1932; Detroit Institute of Art 1931; Salmagundi Club 1929 and 1931 (prizes); Springfield, Utah 1928 and 1931 (prizes); Gloucester Art Association 1928 (prize); Springfield Art League 1927 and 1928 (prizes); North Shore Art Association 1930 (prize); Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts 1930 (prize); Jordon Marsh Exhibition (Boston) 1944 (medal); New York Water Color Club 1930 (prize); Boston Tercentenary Exhibition 1930; Ogunquit Art Center 1930; New Haven Painters and Clay Club 1931 (prize); Washington Water Color Club 1931(prize); Los Angeles Museum of Art; Buck Hill Falls Art Association (Pennsylvania) 1938 (prize); he also exhibited in Belgium, France and Holland.

Anthony Thieme's work is held in high regard by collectors and Museums alike, and he is represented in many major collections: Boston Museum of Fine Art; Pittsfield Museum of Art (Massachusetts); Albany Institute of History and Art; Dayton Art Institute; City of New Haven Collection; College of Springfield (Utah); University of Iowa; Museum of Modern Art; Los Angeles Museum of History, Science & Art; Beach College, Storrs, Connecticut; Montclair Art Museum (New Jersey).

In literature, he is internationally recognized appearing in Benezit; Davenport; Fielding; Mallett; Thieme-Becker; the Witt Library Computer Index; and many "Who's Who."

The Rockport Art Association held a retrospective exhibition of his works and the accompanying text details his life and works: Judith A Curtis, "Anthony Thieme 1888-1954," Rockport Art Association, 1999. (80 pages)

Source:
Edwin J. Andres Fine Art
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A marine painter, Anthony Thieme eventually settled in Rockport, Massachusetts where he established the Thieme School of Art and became one of the area's most prolific painters.

As a young man, he had a disagreement with his parents over his decision to pursue a career in the arts. He traveled and worked in Europe for a few years before coming back to the United States.

Source: Skinner Inc.


These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Born in Rotterdam, Holland on Feb. 20, 1888. Thieme spent most of his career in Massachusetts and Florida, but was in Los Angeles in 1931-32. He died in Greenwich, CT on Dec. 7, 1954.

Exh: Hatfield Gallery (LA), 1931; Pasadena Society of Artists, 1932; San Francisco Art Annual, 1932.
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Who's Who in American Art 1936-53.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

Biography from South Coast Fine Art:
Sharing a common country of birth (Holland) and a love of color and boldness in their paintings, Vincent Van Gogh and Anthony Thieme both endured emotional turmoil and both ended their lives the same way.

Striking out on his own at the age of seventeen, Johannes Thieme (he later changed his first name to Anthony), became a fearless and adventurous traveler, linguist, and avocational opera singer, who initially found employment as a scenic backdrop painter in New York City and then in Boston.  Along his artistic way he studied oil painting, watercolor, printmaking, and drawing in Dusseldorf, Naples, the Hague, and Paris.

Anthony Thieme and his wife, the former Lillian Beckett, met at the wedding of Richard Recchia, and the noted sculptor suggested the tip of Cape Ann, the quarry town of Rockport, as an ideal spot for the en plein air painter to set up his easel. Thieme did so for many summers, and he never strayed very far from his favorite subject, the angular, red-painted, lobster buoy-covered “Motif #1.”

It is estimated that Thieme painted about 400 canvases of the now famous fishing shack (rebuilt after a terrific winter storm), usually with hunchbacked fishermen standing at the wharf’s edge.  The fishing boats, white-painted cottages, and church steeples of the picturesque village were a continual inspiration to Thieme, and gave an Old World, laid-back satisfaction to the prolific artist who often could be quite curt and outspoken.  However, his admiring students were dismayed, when due to health issues, he was forced to close the Thieme Summer School of Art, which had beeen under his direction from 1929 to 1943.

Anthony Thieme received favorable criticism and artistic awards during his career, including two in 1930: the Delano Prize from the New York Watercolor Club, and the Athenaeum Prize at the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts; the Lucien Powell Citizen Jury Prize from the Los Angeles Museum (1931); the Gold Medal for the Best Painting in New England by the Contemporary Artists Association (1944); and an award for the best marine painting at the Pan-American Art Show in Miami (1949). Anthony and “Becky” wintered in St. Augustine, and after he became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1935, they visited Mexico and Guatemala where the hot, primary colors of the two Spanish- language countries influenced his palette.

Museums:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Institute in Chicago, and museums in London and Brussels have Thieme’s works in their collections, and he is a much sought after artist to this day.

Biography from Charleston Renaissance Gallery:
Anthony Thieme was born in Rotterdam, Holland. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam (1902-04), at the Royal Academy at The Hague (1905), as an apprentice artist in Dusseldorf, Germany, under George Hoecker, Germany's foremost stage designer (1906-08), and at the School of Fine Arts, Turin (1909-1910). After completing his studies he traveled in Europe, England, and South America, and he worked as a stage designer in these places both before and after coming to the United States in 1917. In 1919 he settled in Boston where for nine years he worked as a designer and painter of stage settings for the Copley Theatre, while also doing book illustrations for Boston publishers.

By 1927, he had established a studio at Cape Ann in Rockport, Massachusetts, where he taught summer painting classes and became well-known for his seascapes and shore scenes. While he worked in an Impressionist manner, he was also profoundly influenced by the Dutch seascape tradition, and was particularly interested in the effects of light on water. His work was exhibited in New York, Washington, Paris, and London, and was acquired by many museums.

In 1946, Thieme's Cape Ann studio burned down, together with much of his work of the previous thirty years. Rather than rebuild his life in Massachusetts, Thieme struck out for territory which he had not previously explored. His first stop was Charleston, South Carolina, where he spent two months in prolific activity, inspired by the revelation of light and color far more intense than that to which he had become accustomed.

The paintings that he produced in Charleston were a far cry from his "picturesque New England harbor scenes," as the reviewer of Thieme's exhibition in 1947 at the Grand Central Art Galleries acknowledged. The serenity and tonal discipline of his seascapes was abandoned for the elaborations of wrought iron and profusion of blossoms that Charleston imposed on his senses. The heady aroma of the Southern landscape induced him to continue his travels - to St. Augustine and Nassau in 1948, to Guatemala in 1949, to the Riviera in 1951, and to Spain in the year of his death, in 1954.


Source:
ART AND ARTISTS OF THE SOUTH: The Robert P. Coggins Collection, Bruce W. Chambers, Ph.D., University of South Carolina Press, 1984, pp. 80-81.

Biography from Pierce Galleries, Inc.:
Anthony Thieme (American, 1888-1954):

Anthony Thieme was a painter, designer and teacher who was born in Rotterdam, Holland in 1888. He was trained at the Royal Academy in Holland and in Italy and Germany. He studied with George Hacker, Guiseppe Mancini, Garlobini and Guardaciona. He came to America in 1920 and was instrumental in making Rockport, MA a center for art and artists. After 1950, he wintered in St. Augustine, Florida and summered in Rockport.

Position: Teacher, Thieme School of Art, Rockport, MA.

He was a member of the American Water Color Society; Salmagundi Club; California Academy of Fine Arts; Boston Art Club; Providence Water Color Club; Boston SAC; North Shore Art Association; Springfield Art League; Rockport Art Association; American Artists Professional League; Gloucester Society of Artists; New York Water Color Club; Philadelphia Art Alliance; the National Arts Club and more.

Awards include medals at L.A. County Museum of Art (1931); Salmagundi Club, NYC (1929, 1931); Springfield Utah (1928, 1931); Gloucester AA (1928); Springfield Art League (1927, 1928); North Shore AA (1930); CAFA (1930); Jordan Marsh Exhibition (1944); NYWCC (1933); New Haven Paint & Clay Club (1931); Washington Water Color Club (1931); Buck Hill Falls AA, PA (1938); Dow Award, St. Augustine, FL (1949); and more.

Work is represented in the permanent collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Pittsfield Museum of Art, MA; Albany Inst. Of History & Art, NY; Dayton Art Institute; City of New Haven Collection; Springville, Utah; University of Iowa; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Montclair Art Museum; L.A. County Museum of Art, CA; New Britain Museum of Art, CT; Buck Hill Falls, PA; and more.

Submitted by P.J. Pierce

Biography from Hess Fine Art & Auctions:
One of the best-known plein-air American impressionist artists, Anthony Thieme claimed, "the open air is my studio”. He was born on February 20, 1888 in Rotterdam, Holland and studied in Germany under George Hacker in Dusseldorf. Later, in Turin, Italy, Giuseppe Mancini and Carlo Bini showed him more in the wonderful world of art.

Already having an insatiable taste for art, when he immigrated to America in 1917, he began painting Broadway backdrops in New York and eventually settled in Rockport, Massachusetts where he established his studio. It was here in Rockport where he found his impressionist- inspired views of the local harbor, streets, quarries, and coastline.

During this time he also operated the Thieme School of Art from 1929 to 1943. It is here that he was inspired to paint this painting entitled “ Sunlight Day” which has been inscribed on the back of this painting along with Cove hill, this being the specific area in Rockport.

His technique differs from most artists of his time period but it is thought to be a product of his traveling lifestyle, and being a part of the world. He typically wintered in South Carolina, Guatemala, Mexico, and the Bahamas, as well as in St. Augustine, Florida, where he took a studio in 1947.

Because of his frequent intercourse with multiple environments, he was enveloped in different cultures and scenes that can be shown through his colors, strokes, and subject matters. It was so refined that art critics to connoisseurs alike praised his work. He has won numerous prizes, has and is featured in a number of museums, and has found a permanent place in literature.


Biography from The Johnson Collection:
Anthony Thieme was born in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam in 1888. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam, at the Royal Academy at the Hague, as an apprentice to George Hoecker, a well known stage designer in Düsseldorf, Germany, and to Antonio Mancini, an Italian Impressionist. After completing his studies, Thieme journeyed throughout Europe and South America, working in stage design to support his travels. Thieme first came to the United States in 1917 and initially worked as a set designer and book illustrator first in New York and later in Boston.

By the late 1920s, Thieme had married and moved from Boston to Cape Ann in Rockport, Massachusetts, an emerging art colony. Like the other Rockport artists, his style was influenced by Impressionism, with special attention paid to the effects of light, but also by the Dutch tradition of seascape painting. Throughout his career, Thieme favored painting en plein air, or outside, because it allowed him to better capture the atmosphere’s fleeting effects. He has been referred to as the “Master of Light and Shadow.”

Thieme’s paintings were often met with critical acclaim and were displayed at galleries in New York, London, and Paris. He also established the Thieme School of Art at Cape Ann in 1929 and taught classes out of his studio until 1943. Tragedy struck in 1946 when his studio burned to the ground, destroying much of the work he had produced over thirty years. Devastated by this loss, Thieme left Massachusetts in search of new adventures and inspirations. He traveled south to Charleston, South Carolina and was greatly inspired by the dense, tropical foliage and the warm, coastal light. He spent two months in Charleston, painting prolifically, before continuing on to Florida, the Caribbean, and Central America. Until his mysterious death in 1954, Thieme spent his summers in Rockport and the winter months based in St. Augustine, Florida.

Throughout his career, Thieme exhibited his work widely and was active in numerous art associations and clubs. He participated in exhibitions across the country including ones at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. He was a member of the National Arts Club, the American Watercolor Society, the Salmagundi Club, the Boston Art Club, the Art Alliance of America, and the Rockport Art Association.

The Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, South Carolina
www.thejohnsoncollection.org

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