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 Henry Rankin Poore  (1859 - 1940)

About: Henry Rankin Poore
 

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania/Connecticut/New Jersey      Known for: sporting genre and animals, landscape painting, illustration

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BIOGRAPHY for Henry Poore
Facts/Data
Birth
1859 (Newark, New Jersey)
 
Death
1940 (Orange, New Jersey)

Lived/Active
Pennsylvania/Connecticut/New Jersey

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sporting genre and animals, landscape painting, illustration

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Tonalism
Old Lyme Colony Painters
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915
Taos Pre 1940
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Newark, New Jersey, Henry Rankin Poore became a painter of rural landscape subjects, fox hunting, portraits, and animals.  He has been described as a "spirited and versatile artist, able to paint on diverse themes and noted for his sporting pictures as well as genre and landscape paintings." (Zellman 544)

He was raised in California and planned to study for the ministry.  However, the art exhibition section of the 1874 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia re-directed his goals. 

In the early 1880s, he traveled to New Mexico and Colorado, and was the first American artist to have a painting published with a reference to the Taos Pueblo.  This depiction was a burro train leaving the Pueblo and is recorded as being done in 1882.  His mining illustrations of Colorado from that same trip were published in Harper's Weekly.  In 1888, he is listed as having been in Taos again.

To insure his art training, he studied at the National Academy of Design in New York for a year and then with Peter Moran at the Pennsylvania School of Fine Arts.  He became a popular painter during this time of dogs, hunting and western mining, and made enough money from his art sales to study at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1883.  That year until 1885, he studied in Paris with William Bouguereau at the Academie Julian and was also in Paris again in 1892 following a foxhunting and sketching trip to England.

In 1890, he became a special agent for the United States Census Bureau to illustrate the "Report on the Condition of Fifteen Pueblos of New Mexico in 1890."  Collaborating with him were artists Peter Moran, Julian Scott, Gilbert Gaul and Walter Shirlaw. 

Henry Rankin Poore was a long-time active artist in Philadelphia, and from 1890, taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  During this period, he turned his painting subjects to more ordinary genre---humble persons going about everyday life.  This work has been described as being similary to that of the Barbizon painter Jean Millet (1814-1875).  Poore also became part of the Art Colony at Old Lyme, Connecticut where, to get his rural landscape subjects, he constructed a portable studio drawn by oxen.   He then created pictures of the oxen pulling farm laborers on hay carts.

He lived at the end of his life in Orange, New Jersey where he died in 1940.


Sources include:
Peggy and Harold Samuels, The Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art


Biography from Red Fox Fine Art:
Excerpt from Animal and Sporting Artists in America by F. Turner Reuter, Jr. © 2008:

Henry Rankin Poore was born in Newark, NJ, on 21 March 1859. He studied for a year at the National Academy of Design in New York City, then until 1880 with Peter Moran at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. During this period he sold some illustration work to Harper's Weekly; he also traveled in the West with Moran, painting in the Colorado mining country and in Taos, NM. He went to Paris, France, in 1883 and studied further there with Evariste Vital Luminais and William Adolphe Bouguereau.

After a tour of Europe, Poore began teaching at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1888, while an Associate of the National Academy, he painted a composition of polo, The Opening Charge, Hutton Park. Poore, along with William Gaul, Peter Moran, Julian Scott and Walter Shirlaw was commissioned by the US government to take a census of the Native American population in 1890; their findings, including illustrations by the artists, was entitled Report on Indians Taxed and Not Taxed.

In 1891 Poore returned to Paris for a year, then went to England, where he became interested in foxhunting subjects. By 1908 the Radnor Hunt of Malvern, PA had commissioned Poore to paint three of its standout hounds, Radnor Leader, Radnor Link, and Radnor Stroller, all in a single composition.

He taught during the summers at the Old Lyme (CT) artists' colony starting in 1900, and was the author of Principles of Composition, Conception of Art, Art Principles in Practice, Modern Art: Why, What and How?, and other works on art criticism.

He was best known as an animal painter, often depicting hounds in the field, although he also painted portraits, landscapes, and historical subjects. His 1929 portrait of the National Champion Mary Blue, a pointer bitch, was illustrated in National Field Trial Champions. Many hound subjects were reproduced as lithographs, both colored and uncolored, often signed in pencil by the artist.

Poore was a member of the National Academy of Design, the Society of Animal Painters and Sculptors, the Salmagundi Club, the Lotos Club, the American Federation of Artists, and the National Arts Club, all in New York City; the Lyme (CT) Art Association; the Union International des Beaux-Arts et des Lettres in Paris; and other societies.

He received medals at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY, in 1901; the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, MO, in 1904; the American Art Society in New York City in 1906; Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1910; and the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, CA, in 1915.

At the National Academy of Design he showed such works as his Burro Train Leaving the Pueblo of Taos in 1882, Hounds in the Brush in 1892, Winter Shepherd in 1906, and Mrs. Allen Potts of Virginia: Her Horses and Hounds in 1911.

At the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts his exhibits included Baying Hounds in 1885, The Wounded Hound in 1898, Steeplechase in 1916 and Veterans: Kennel Portraits in 1930. He also exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, showing such works as Fox Hounds in 1888 and On the Moors, Barney's Joy in 1913; the Paris Salon; the Boston (MA) Art Club; the American Watercolor Society in New York City; and the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum's Inventory of American Paintings lists a number of his works, among them his Oxen Resting and A Hunter Out with His Dogs. The Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, NY, has his The Hound. Other institutions holding his work include the St. Louis Art Museum, the Worcester (MA) Museum of Art, the Philadelphia (PA) Art Club, the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, and the National Museum of New Zealand.

Henry Rankin Poore died in Orange, NJ, on 15 August 1940.

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