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James Pattison

 (1844 - 1915)
James William Pattison was active/lived in Illinois, Missouri, Massachusetts, North Carolina / France.  James Pattison is known for figure, landscape, animal and marine paintings.

James Pattison

Biography from the Archives of askART

Pattison (1844-1915) might be known to most as an editor and art critic for the Fine Arts Journal, and he is the author of Painters since Leonardo (1904).  Others may know the dashing portrait of Pattison by Louis Betts, painted in 1909 (Union League Club of Chicago).  Earlier, Pattison illustrated for Harper's Weekly then concentrated on painting, as a student of James M. Hart and George Inness; he taught at Washington University (1869-1873), where William Merritt Chase was one of his students.  His earliest efforts are landscapes in the Hudson River School style; one example is Twin Lakes, Leadville, Colorado (1872; Vose Galleries).  Later Pattison studied in Düsseldorf and Paris.  With his wife Helen Searle (1830-1884), Pattison lived for six years at Ecouen, just north of Paris, which was the home of an artists' colony.  There he took instruction in landscape painting from Luigi Chialiva (d. 1914), also known as an animal painter.  Pattison exhibited in the Paris Salons of 1879-81.

The painter returned to America in 1882 or 1883.  He was quite active in Chicago art organizations, including the Cliff Dwellers, the Palette and Chisel Club, and the Chicago Municipal Art League. He was director of the School of Fine Arts in Jacksonville, Illinois (1884-1896) and taught at the School of the AIC in 1896.  Between 1897 and 1906 Pattison worked in the Tree Studio Building.  Pattison exhibited Sheep (unlocated) at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893 and A Calm Night at the St. Louis Universal Exposition, eleven years later; his oils, pastels, and watercolors appeared at the Art Institute's annuals between 1891 and 1910.

Pattison, James William. Since Leonardo: Being a History of Painting from the Renaissance to the Present Day. Herbert S. Stone and Co., 1904; Clute, Walter Marshall. "James William Pattison: Author, Critic and Painter." The Sketch Book 5 (May 1906): 311-317; Clarkson, Ralph. "Chicago Artists: Past and Present." Art and Archaeology 12 (September - October 1921): 129-144; Sparks, Esther. "Biographical Dictionary of Illinois Painters and Sculptors, 1808-1945." Diss., Northwestern University, 1971, pp. 546-547.

Submitted by Michael Preston Worley, Ph.D. and R. H. Love

Biography from Charleston Renaissance Gallery

Artist, soldier, writer, critic, and educator James William Pattison led an eclectic life. Born in Boston, he studied art in New York with James McDougal Hart and R. Swain Gifford; in Düsseldorf with Albert Flamm; and in Paris with Luigi Chialiva. Following military service during the Civil War, he went on to enjoy a successful career as a painter of figure, landscape, genre, and animal subjects, working and exhibiting both at home and abroad.

At the age on nineteen, Pattison was recruited to serve in Company G of the 57th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, a squadron deployed to the Battle of Petersburg, Virginia. This siege, which extended from June 15, 1864 to April 2, 1865, pitted Union forces against well armed Confederate soldiers protecting Richmond in General Lee's last grand offensive. Lee's defeat in Petersburg led to the fall of the Confederate capital and the subsequent end of the war just a week later. As represented in The Siege of Petersburg, Encampment and Headquarters of the 1st Brigade Division of the 9th Corps, circa 1865 Pattison was serving on a routine nighttime security detail of the headquarters, which is seen illuminated by fire. This oil sketch, executed from memory after the artist had returned home, is an exceptional record of a Union battle position.

In 1876, Pattison married Helen Searle, an artist in her own right, and moved to the town of Ecouen outside of Paris, where he remained for six years. Between 1879 and 1881, he exhibited scenes of Ecouen at the Paris Salon. He returned to America, settling in Jacksonville, Illinois, in 1884 and served as director of the School of Fine Arts there until 1896.

Pattison was an assiduous exhibitor even while living abroad. He entered paintings in annuals at the National Academy of Design; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Art Institute of Chicago; American Water Color Society; Brooklyn Art Association; and Boston Art Club. He also had work on view at Chicago's 1893 Columbian Exposition and the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. A prolific writer and critic, Pattison authored essays on Robert Henri, Leon Dabo, Albert Blakelock, George Hitchcock, and George Inness, among others.

This essay is copyrighted by the Charleston Renaissance Gallery and may not be reproduced or transmitted without written permission from Hicklin Galleries, LLC.

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About  James Pattison

Born:  1844 - Boston, Massachusetts
Died:   1915 - Asheville, North Carolina
Known for:  figure, landscape, animal and marine paintings