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 Howard Russell Butler  (1856 - 1934)

About: Howard Russell Butler


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Lived/Active: New Jersey/California      Known for: seascape, portrait, solar eclipse and landscape painting

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Dr. Jeffrey Owens

Biographical Information
The 1910 Who's Who in America offers further details about Howard R. Butler. His parents were William Allen Butler and Mary Marshall, and he had two distinguished brothers. Charles Henry Butler was a legal expert in foreign relations, a delegate to the Hague Peace Conference of 1907, and the author of numerous books dealing with foreign policy and the Cuba Libre movement, at the time of the Spanish-American War. Another brother, William A. Butler, Jr., was a leading attorney and corporate director, as well as president of the Princeton Lawyers' Club. Amidst such law-oriented company, Howard's decision to become an artist must have really raised eyebrows. He was born on 3 Mar. 1856 in New York, graduated from Princeton in 1876 and got his law degree from Columbia in 1882. He practiced law from 1881-4, but by the end of the decade was exhibiting and winning medals in Paris. He organized the American Fine Arts Society in 1889 and acted as president until 1906. In 1890, he married fellow New-Yorker Virginia Hays. Music also attracted his interests and, due to wealth and connections, he served from 1896-1905 as the president of Carnegie Music Hall. Occupying a post at the top of society, in 1910 Butler belonged to the Century, Lotos, and University Clubs, as well as the N. Y. Water Color Club, Architectural League, & Municipal Art Society. In 1910, he resided at 135 E. 66th St., New York City. His career is a reminder of how elite the status of painters could be in the Edwardian period.

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